Miss America Just Said Goodbye to Its Swimsuit Competition

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Photo Credits: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

The swimsuit competition has been a staple in the annual Miss America pageant since its inception nearly 100 years ago. But in response to the sweeping female empowerment and #metoo movements we’re witnessing, Miss America has decided the nationwide spectacle will scrap swimsuits for good. 

Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, made the announcement on Good Morning America, saying, “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge.” Carlson also broadcasted the fact that the competition, which is being led entirely by women for the first time ever, will be more inclusive to women of all shapes and sizes. “It will be a competition, not a pageant.”

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Rather than strut down the catwalk in a teeny bikini where viewers can pick them apart head to toe, contestants will now take part in a live interactive session with the panel of judges where, according to a statement from the Miss America Organization, each woman “will highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.” They will also share their ideas for advancing their social-impact initiatives.

Cara Mund, Miss America 2018 who tweets under the official @MissAmerica account, posted a video of a white bikini going up in smoke with the hashtag #byebyebikini and the debut of a new campaign: Miss America 2.0.

In addition to eliminating swimsuits, Carlson says the evening gown portion will also be tweaked, as contestants will now be able to wear whatever they want. No word yet as to exactly what this means—destroyed denim and a white tee?—but stay tuned to NewBeauty for updates!

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