Miss America wants to focus more on brains rather than bodies!
The organization, which started in 1921 and originally held swimsuit-centered pageants, made a historic announcement on Tuesday. Gretchen Carlson, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, appeared on Good Morning Americato share the news of the organization’s groundbreaking changes.
“We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge,” Carlson, a former Miss America winner, explained. “That means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition and that is official as of Sept. 9 when we have our competition in Atlantic City.”
Though they won’t be cutting the evening gown portion of the event, Carlson, 51, added, “We’ll also be revamping our evening gown competition phase as well. We’re no longer judging women when they come out in their chosen attire, their evening wear, whatever they choose to do, it’s going to be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in when they talk about their social impact initiatives.”
Those at the Miss America organization are acknowledging the changing cultural climate in light of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, which Carlson actively participated in after she sued her former Fox News employer, Roger Ailes.
“We want to be open, transparent, inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before,” she said of the competition’s new approach. “We’ve always had talent and scholarship and we need to message that part of the program better as well, but now we’re adding in this new caveat that we’re not going to judge you on your outward appearance because we’re interested in what makes you you.”
Carlson hopes that women who may not have felt comfortable participating in the competition before might be inspired to come forward now. In an official statement, the Miss America organization revealed that their new mission statement is “to prepare great women for the world, and to prepare the world for great women.”
For more on the #MeToo movement, watch the clip below: