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Miss America contestants will no longer have to participate in the swimsuit section of the competition, according to Gretchen Carlson who serves as chairwoman for the Miss America board of directors.
— Cara Mund (@MissAmerica) June 5, 2018
Carlson made the announcement on Good Morning America, revealing the event will now be considered a competition, rather than a pageant.
JUST IN: "We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge. And that means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition." – @GretchenCarlson on the major changes coming to @MissAmericaOrg https://t.co/ICRIsRN71h pic.twitter.com/IWKcVvCC50
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 5, 2018
“We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” Carlson announced on GMA, adding that the competition will now be open to women of “all shapes and sizes.”
Additionally, the 97-year-old event will also see changes to the evening gown segment. Instead of donning evening attire, contestants will now be able to wear whatever they choose. The talent portion of the competition will stay the same, but contestants will now have the chance to highlight their social-impact initiatives and highlight their achievements and goals in life.
Carlson acknowledged the rise of the #MeToo movement was pivotal in bringing about the changes, saying in a statement, “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. Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”