We’re awarding this recent decision by the powers that be at the Miss America HQ a perfect 10.
In a landmark moment yesterday on Good Morning America, Gretchen Carlson, the chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, announced that competition will no longer feature a swimsuit portion. And in fact, she said, the beauty pageant, which was founded almost a century ago and has long been criticized for its part in objectifying women, will no longer judge its contestants on beauty at all.
To that end, Carlson said that Miss America will no longer be a pageant, but a competition, measuring its competitors on the merits of their accomplishments alone.
“We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge,” Carlson said.
— Miss America Org (@MissAmericaOrg) June 5, 2018
Moreover, Carlson told GMA hosts that viewers would see a more inclusive and diverse Miss America going forward, as they plan to include more women of “all shapes and sizes.” As body positivity has become a focus for more and more major brands and fashion labels, this is a savvy and welcome move by the long-standing institution.
In place of the antiquated swimsuit competition, contestants will compete in a panel with the judges in which each young woman “will highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion, and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.” None of those goals, we’re guessing, will include working on her #beachbody. Hear, hear!
Other updates include a revision to the rules of the evening gown portion of the competition, which will not be abolished, but instead will allow contestants to wear whatever they deem fit. (Read: they don’t have to wear a sexy ball gown if they’d rather rock a power suit.)
The upcoming and updated Miss America competition goes down September 9 in Atlantic City.
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