Miss America Shifts From a Pageant to a Competition

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On Tuesday June 5, the Miss America Organization has announced that the Miss America pageant will no longer be judging based on looks. Gretchen Carlson, the director of the Miss America board of directors, also said the new Miss America competition will be more inclusive to women of “all shapes and sizes.” This means that the physical appearance of the women will be a lot more diverse. Additionally, they will also getting rid of the swimsuit competition that takes place during the pageant. This decision was made after months of controversy within the organization itself. This new change will be in effect next year, and replacing the swimsuit competition is a live interaction session with the judges. During this session, the contestants will bring to light their goals in life and ambitions as Miss America. Now Miss America will be considered a competition rather than a pageant.

This change was largely influenced by the MeToo movement, which targets to support survivors and bring a stop to sexual harassment. It was originally intended for the entertainment industry, but has since spread out encompass all women and men suffering from sexual harassment. The Time’s Up movement also held a significant influence in this decision made by the Miss America Organization. It’s pushing for women empowerment, and this was achieved by this decision.

Additionally, the organization says that there are more changes to come. For example, the evening gown competition will be altered. The women will now be able to wear “whatever they choose”. Also, the contestants will talk about their ideas for social- impacting initiatives. All in all, this change was done to provoke women empowerment. Gretchen Carlson also said, “Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”

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