Miss America dropping swimsuit competition -- "We are no longer a pageant"
UPI News Service, 06/05/2018
Miss America is dropping the swimsuit portion of its competition nearly 100 years after the annual event began.
Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson said on Tuesday's episode of "Good Morning America" that the organization is ending the portion to redirect focus from candidates' physical appearance to their achievements.
"We are no longer a pageant," the 51-year-old television commentator and former Miss America winner said. "We are a competition."
"We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge. And that means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition," she said.
Miss America also plans to revamp the evening gown portion of its competition. Women of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to participate as candidates.
"We're no longer judging women when they come out in their chosen attire, their evening wear," Carlson said.
"Whatever they choose to do, it's going to be what comes out of their mouth that we're interested in."
"We want to be open, transparent, inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before," she explained of the change.
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"We're interested in what makes you you. Tell us about your goals and achievements in life."
Miss America 2018 winner Cara Mund shared the news Tuesday on the Miss America official Twitter account.
"We're changing out of our swimsuits and into a whole new era #byebyebikini #MissAmerica2019," she wrote.
The 2019 Miss America competition will take place in September.
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