Miss America to Scrap Swimsuit, Evening Gown Competitions

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The 2019 Miss America competition will take place September 9 in Atlantic City.

Former titleholder/Fox News anchor and new board chairwoman Gretchen Carlson announced today on Good Morning America that the organization is undergoing a total overhaul, starting with that damned swimsuit competition.

For decades, women's groups and others had complained that the swimsuit portion was outdated, sexist and more than a little silly.

"We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance", Carlson, who was crowned Miss America in 1989, said.

Women now hold the top three positions at the organization. In the swimsuit competition's place, contestants will participate in a session where they interact with judges and highlight their own achievements, passions and ambitions.

And it isn't just the swimwear portion of the pageant that has been dropped, as hopefuls will no longer compete in an evening wear section either, instead being asked to wear attire that makes them feel "confident and expresses their personal style". As it turns out, people like watching the talent portion better anyway.

"It's what comes out of their mouths that we care about", Carlson said.

In a #MeToo-inspired rebranding effort, Miss America is ditching its swimsuit competition to focus more on contestants' personalities.

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"I hated it", she said. "I felt truly empowered being up there in my swimsuit".

According to Carlson, the gown competition will be revamped to allow women to wear whatever they want.

While the official announcement for the changes has been made, the Miss America Organization is still working on the details of the changes.

"My life has worked in mysterious ways", Carlson said.

While spectators only see the pageant, she said, what they don't see is the work being done year-round by the winners, who traverse the state (or the nation) making appearances and supporting causes with everyone from senior citizens and military personnel to politicians and children of all ages in schools.

Miss America is rebranding for the modern era that's less tolerant of outright objectification of women. "For many years that's been a part of the Miss America organization", Pitts said. That was down from 6.25 million the year before.

Miss America Chairperson Gretchen Carlson announced major changes to the national pageant Tuesday on Good Morning America. That's apt, considering that Miss America's origins rest with an "Inter-City Beauty Contest" started in the early 1920s, with the prize going to "The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America".

"It's never been about being the most attractive, it's about the game-changer - the victor has to be on her A-game all the way around", McKinney said.

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