Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America now chair of the Miss America Organization, said on "Good Morning America," that the program is no longer a pageant. Chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors Gretchen Carlson announced the changed during Good Morning America. Instead of evening gowns, contestants will be asked to wear something that portrays their personal style and makes them feel confident in place of an expensive, flowing gown.
Contestants will now be able to wear "whatever they choose", and the competition wants to be "open, transparent, inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before".
"It's what comes out of their mouths that we care about", Carlson said. The org is also dropping the name "pageant" in favor of labeling the Miss America event a "competition".
Carlson will be in Minnesota next week for the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant.
Miss America's former executive director Sam Haskell, president Josh Randle, and other board members resigned over a scandal past year over vulgar emails disparaging contestants.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. 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. "For many years that's been a part of the Miss America organization", Pitts said.
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This is also the first time the Miss America Organization's top three leadership positions are all simultaneously held by women.
Olivia Butler, Miss Tampa 2017 and second runner-up for Miss Florida, both of which are connected to the Miss America competition, said she and many other former contestants are applauding the decision.
She added, "We're experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues".
Accordingly, when the pageant is held this September, almost a year into the #MeToo era, it will no longer have a swimsuit competition.
When asked about how the change will affect TV ratings, Carlson said she's not anxious about losing now that the program won't feature scantily clad women, adding that the talent segment actually receives higher ratings.
- Mark Kern (@Grummz) June 5, 2018Men are really upset about Miss America getting rid of the swimsuit segment, which tells me too many pervs have been watching, which justifies no swimsuits.
"I don't think the pageant has ever overtly pressured girls to look a certain way", Meeuwsen said.