Miss America Eliminates Swimsuit Competition And Won’t Judge On Looks

June 5, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Story

The Miss America Organization is dropping the swimsuit competition, saying it will no longer judge contestants on their appearance.

“We’re not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you,” Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who is head of the organization’s board of trustees, said while making the announcement Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”

Carlson, whose sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes led to his departure, said the board has heard from potential contestants saying, “We don’t want to be out there in high heels and swimsuits.”

“Guess what?” she said. “You don’t have to anymore.”

Carlson says that the women will no longer be judged on their appearance and instead it’s what comes out of their mouths that counts.

“Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul?” Carlson told ABC. “That’s what we’re judging them on now.”

Carlson said she is not worried ratings for the nationally televised broadcast might suffer because of the elimination of swimsuits. She said that the swimsuit portion is not the highest rated section of the broadcast and that viewers seem to be more interested in the talent competition.

She also said the group will make changes to the evening wear portion of the competition, adding it will not judge women on their chosen attire.

The organization says the contestants will highlight their achievements and goals in life and how they’ll use their talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.

Carlson says that the pageant wants to be “open, transparent and inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before.”

The rise of the #MeToo movement is powering the changes, Carlson said.

“We’re experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues,” she said in the statement. “Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”

The changes will start with this year’s broadcast on Sept. 9.