The Miss America contest is all set to scrap its swimsuit competition and head towards a more body inclusive approach. It has announced it will no longer judge contestants on their physical appearance.

Gretchen Carlson, the first former Miss America to be named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, shared her thoughts. She said on TV show Good Morning America, “We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition.”

The new move will be effective starting from the 2019 Miss America Competition. It will commence from September 9th this year.

The official Twitter account of Miss America also tweeted about its recent decision:

No longer judging on body appearances

“We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge,” Gretchen Carlson said on GMA. Gretchen has also been an active supporter of the #MeToo movement that started against sexual harassment of women. She added, “It’s going to be what comes out of [the candidates’] mouths that we’re interested in, when they talk about their social-impact initiatives.”

According to the organisation, the swimsuit competition will be replaced by an interactive session. This interactive live session will take place between the judges and contestants. Additionally, contestants will now be asked to display their passion and understanding of the job of the coveted title holder.

Focus on expression of personal styles

ABC News reported, “The organization is also getting rid of the evening gown portion of the competition and instead asking contestants to wear attire that makes them feel confident, expresses their personal style and shows how they hope to advance the role of Miss America.”

Organisation completely led by women

It is interesting to know that for the first time, the Miss America organisation is being completely led by women. Consequently, these changes can be considered an outcome of these high position roles performed by women.

Carlson told ABC News: “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. 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.”

USA Today reported,” Carlson, who was awarded the Miss America crown in 1989, said this was a board decision. She acknowledged “change can sometimes be difficult”, but was excited for the competition to be “evolving in this cultural revolution”.

Picture Credit: Tigerdroppings.com

More Stories by Nimisha

Read: Politics of Body-Shaming: Why Are Women Constricted To Fitting In?

Nimisha Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.