January 20, 2019

Miss America says it will stop judging contestants based on physical appearance

05 June 2018, 11:42 | Randall Craig

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"We're interested in makes you you", Carlson says.

On Tuesday morning's installment of GMA, Gretchen Carlson (who presently chairs the board for the Miss America Organization) told Amy Robach that "We are no longer a pageant".

"We are a competition", she added. Miss America announced this morning that they will immediately eliminate the swimsuit portion of the contest and replace it with a segment where the women discuss their plans, goals and dreams.

Despite its mission statement as "the nation's leading advocate for women's education", the Miss America competition has long had trouble convincing audiences that it's the bastion of feminist empowerment it claims to be.

"If you're upset about Miss America dropping it's swimsuit completion: Maybe you should respect women for who they are on the inside, beauty is truly skin deep and in the eyes of the beholder", someone said.

Along with getting rid of the swimsuit portion of the competition, Miss America is also making some other big changes, calling it a "new era" for the organization.

The changes will take effect with this year's broadcast on September 9 from Atlantic City, N.J.

"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", she said. Finally we can judge women on what really matters: "baton twirling", someone wrote, poking fun at the concept that women should be judged at all. Waring said she and other Miss Americas - they call themselves "the forevers" - were alerted to the switch during a conference call last week.

'Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement'.

The decision comes in the midst of the #MeToo movement.

Organiser says they will no longer judge the candidates on their outward physical appearance.

Carlson was crowned Miss America in 1989.

Carlson has been at the forefront of sexual-harassment issues for several years, garnering $20 million in settling a lawsuit against Fox News chief Roger Ailes in 2016. The evening gown competition is being revamped as well.

According to Carlson, the organization wants to be "open, transparent, [and] inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in [its] program before".

"We want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents and then we want to hand you scholarships", she added.

Miss America's board is now led entirely for women in the first time in its history, after three previous bosses stepped down when leaked emails revealed that they'd made insulting comments about previous contestants' weight and sex lives.

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