Miss America has finally axed its swimsuit competition

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • 'We're changing out of our swimsuits and entering a whole new era'

    Anyone who has seen Miss Congeniality knows that the Miss America beauty pageant divides opinion.

    The main point for debate? The swimsuit competition – involving contestants parading around the stage in bikinis and high heels as they answer interview questions and try to get public support.

    Miss Congeniality. Credit: REX

    While the swimsuit competition is considered backwards – especially in the current #TimesUp climate, it has been a part of the show since the pageant began, founded in 1921, with many reluctant to modernise the show – even if it is objectifying women on the regular.

    Well, it looks like change has finally come – yet more proof that this is a watershed year for women.

    Miss America has finally ditched its outdated swimsuit competition. And why? Because people don’t want to be involved in it.

    In an announcement made yesterday on Good Morning America, the Miss America Organisation broke the news that their pageant was shaking things up and getting with the times – finally.

    There will now no longer be a swimsuit competition or an evening gown competition – and in perhaps the biggest move forward in pageant history, contestants will also no longer be judged on their physical appearance.

    ‘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,”’ explained Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989 and now the organisation’s chair of the Board of Trustees. ‘So guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore.’

    Instead of the bikini and ball gown competitions where candidates strut the stage and are marked on their appearance and grooming techniques, contestants will be involved in an interactive session with the judges where they will be ‘asked to demonstrate their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job of Miss America.’

    ‘We are now open, inclusive and transparent and I want to inspire thousands of young people across this country to come and be a part of our program,’ Gretchen Carlson continued. ‘We want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents and then we want to hand you scholarships.’

    Well, that definitely sounds like progress to us.

    About time! It is 2018 after all.

    Reading now

    Popular entertainment stories