Gretchen Carlson Says Miss America Is Ending the Swimsuit Competition

Since former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson took over as the chairwoman of the board of trustees for the Miss America Organization, rumors have been swirling about how she would change the 96-year-old event to bring it into the future. Now, as we approach this year’s event in September, we have our answer.

On June 5, Carlson appeared on Good Morning America to announce that she would, in fact, be removing the swimsuit competition from the event. “We are no longer a pageant, we are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” she said. “That means that we will no longer have a swimsuit competition and that is official.” That’s huge, especially considering Miss America started as a swimsuit competition. She also announced that they will be revamping the evening gown portion explaining, “We will no longer be judging women when they come out in their chosen attire. Whatever they chose to do, it will be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in.”

When asked if the competition will embrace size inclusivity as well, Carlson explained that it’s her goal to have all women participate. “We are interested in what makes you you. At the end of the day, we hand out scholarships to these women. We want more women to know that they are welcome in this organization.”

Since taking her role, Carlson has made it clear that she wanted to make the competition about celebrating and empowering women. It’s exciting to see that, come September, we will be focusing on the what the competitors are doing for charity and not on their looks and outfits. Here’s hoping the organization makes good on its promise to be more inclusive across the board.

More on pageants (what Miss America used to be):

  • This Beauty Queen Says a Pageant Told Her to Lose “As Much Weight As Possible”
  • You Probably Missed the Most Hilarious Moment of the Miss Universe Broadcast
  • Miss Florida Stripped of Crown for Getting Makeup Application

Now watch 100 years of pageant makeup:

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