Miss America drops swimsuit portion and won’t judge on looks

Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa gestures as he speaks while he takes part in a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), in Harare, on June 5. Photo: JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP

Atlantic City – When the Miss America pageant started in 1921, having young women parade around in bathing suits seemed like a great way to get tourists to come to the Atlantic City Boardwalk after Labor Day.

But how America views women has changed drastically since then, and the Miss America Organization is run by women who don’t think it’s such a hot idea.

Every year the pageant is held in September, nearly a year into the #MeToo era, it will no longer have a swimsuit competition.

Gretchen Carlson former Miss America and former FOX anchor said, “We’re not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you,”

Carlson is now the new head of the organization’s board of trustees, said in making the announcement Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

For decades, women’s groups and others have complained that the swimsuit portion was outdated, sexist and more than silly and they did not see the worth of it.

Carlson made a milestone complaint where she laid a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes that led to his departure. She said the board had heard from potential contestants who lamented, “We don’t want to be out there in high heels and swimsuits.”

The announcement comes after a after a shake-up at the organisation that resulted in the top three positions being held by women.

The only reason he shake off happened was after an email scandal last December in which Miss America officials mocked winners’ intelligence, looks and sex lives.T

The organisation explained their decision that instead of showing off in a bathing suit, the contestants will now interact with the judges to “highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.”

Carlson added that the evening-wear part of the competition will also be changed to allow women to wear something other than a gown if they choose. The talent portion of the contest will remain.

Carlson said, “It’s what comes out of their mouths that we care about.”

Miss America 1993 Leanza Cornett, supported the dropping of the swimsuit competition.

“I hated it,” she said. “I always felt awkward and uncomfortable.”

Cornett added, “In the climate of #MeToo, I think it’s a really wise decision. We’re living in a different era now, and when we move forward for the empowerment of women, we will be taken much more seriously, and I think that’s huge.”

Photo Credit-AP

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