If Miss America isn’t a beauty pageant, what is it?

07 June, 2018, 02:17 | Author: Kim Reid
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With those words, Miss America ushered in a whole new era this morning as Gretchen Carlson, the board of trustees chair for the organization, told "Good Morning America" that the storied event is "no longer a pageant".

In addition, the #MeToo movement has credited to the change, as Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News anchor who won Miss America in 1989, was named the organization's new chairman, said in a statement, "We are no longer a pageant".

"We are no longer a pageant", Carlson said.

She said women who hoped to enter had gotten in touch to say 'We don't want to be out there in high heels and swimsuits'.

The revamped Miss America will also nix its evening gown segment and instead encourage women to wear whatever they want.

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The announcement Tuesday came after a shake-up at the Miss America Organization that resulted in the top three leadership positions being held by women.

"It's what comes out of their mouths that we are interested in", she said.

At the same time, the organization announced that a "Miss America 2.0" website and campaign would be launching soon. The talent part of the competition is staying the same. Who can deny the inconsistency of a competition that has women parading around in scanty swimwear, with the goal of winning a scholarship and making America a better place? Last year, the organization was rocked after sexist emails sent by Miss America officials denigrating former contestants' looks and intelligence were leaked.

The 2019 Miss America Competition will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, just as the first Miss America Pageant was almost a century ago. "You don't have to do that anymore", Carlson said.

The changes will start with this year's broadcast on September 9.

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"I think that this is a wonderful step in the right directions to do what Miss America has wanted to do from the beginning", Butler said.

"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. Instead of a swimsuit competition, contestants will have to participate in an interactive session with judges.

Olivia Butler, Miss Tampa 2017 and second runner-up for Miss Florida, both of which are connected to the Miss America competition, said she and many other former contestants are applauding the decision.

In the past, Miss America reified what I knew about growing up in the U.S.as a woman; that no matter how smart and talented I was, no matter how hard I worked, if I didn't look hot - in a very specific way - I wasn't good enough. But, the swimsuit competition is actually tied to fitness.

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