Miss America is scrapping its swimsuit competition and will no longer judge contestants based on physical appearance, the organization announced Tuesday.
“We are no longer a pageant,” Gretchen Carlson, the first former Miss America to be named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said on “GMA.” “We are a competition.”
In place of the swimsuit portion of the competition, Miss America contestants will now take part in a live interactive session with the judges, according to the organization.
The contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be asked to demonstrate their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job of Miss America.
The organization is also getting rid of the evening gown portion of the competition and instead asking contestants to wear attire that makes them feel confident and expresses their personal style. The contestants will also discuss how they will advance their chosen causes, called “social impact initiatives” by the Miss America Organization.
“We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore,” Carlson said. “Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul.”
She continued, “That’s what we’re judging them on now.”
Read the full story on ABCnews.com