Miss America has removed the swimsuit section from the 2019 pageant onwards, as reported by the organization at 7:30 a.m. on June 5.
The competition will no longer judge the contestants based on their outward and physical appearances, especially their facial and bodily features; this will go into effect from 2019’s competition.
According to the Miss America Organization’s press release, instead of the swimsuit section, the ladies will actively participate in a live interactive session with the judges. This session will emphasize on the contestant’s current achievements and future aspirations.
The first former Miss America to-be-named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, Gretchen Carlson, said on Good Morning America, “We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition.”
Carlson also added, “We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore.”
She continued, “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? That’s what we’re judging them on now.”
When Carlson joined the Board of Directors, she planned to implement an inclusive and transparent process in the organization.
“We want to be open, transparent and inclusive to women who did not feel comfortable participating in our competition before,” she said. “We want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents and then we want to hand you scholarships.”
The competition will award the prestigious title to the contestant who proves her intelligence and enthusiasm, and wholly understands what Miss America’s job entails.
Carlson stated that despite the contrary belief, the swimsuit section was not the most popular of all sections from the show. She 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. Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”
Besides the swimsuit section, the organization is also getting rid of the evening gown portion of the competition. This will be replaced by allowing contestants to wear attire that will reflect their own unique style and individuality.
Contestants will also have to keep in mind methods of advancing social impacts. Regina Hopper, former Miss Arkansas in 1983, was elevated to CEO of the Miss America Organization in May. Regina stated that the competition needed serious ‘re-visioning and rebranding’.
As a consequence of so many stakeholders wanting a change, the organization finally decided to form a new mission statement.
Regina announced, “To prepare great women for the world, and to prepare the world for great women. We want more young women to see this program as a platform upon which they can advance their desire to make a real difference and to provide them with the necessary skills and resources for them to succeed in any career path they choose.”
The upcoming Miss America Competition in 2019 will air on September 9 at 9 p.m.
Watch the revamped Miss America 2.0 promo below: