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Miss America scrapping swimsuit competition, will judge women in other ways

Miss America scrapping swimsuit competition, will judge women in other ways
[Photo: Staff Sgt. Jessica Barnett/Wikimedia Commons]

The Miss America competition will no longer judge women by their looks. Well, they will—but not by how they look in a swimsuit.

That’s right, the fabled pageant is scrapping the swimsuit competition and insists they will no longer judge women by their physical appearance at all. Gretchen Carlson announced the dramatic change on Good Morning America, this morning, saying the shake-up was a direct result of the #MeToo movement. “We are no longer a pageant, we are a competition,” said Carlson. “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge, and that means that we will no longer have a swimsuit competition and that is official as of Sept. 9, when we have our competition in Atlantic City.”

Instead Miss America contestants are going to be judged on the content of their character, passion, ideas, poise, and speaking ability, not how they look in a modest-yet-revealing swimsuit. “It’s going to be what comes out of [the candidates’] mouths that we’re interested in, when they talk about their social-impact initiatives.”

Carlson is a former Miss America who took over as chairwoman of the board of trustees for the Miss America Organization after three pageant executives resigned over a vulgar email scandal. Carlson has become an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual harassment in the wake of her own harassment lawsuit against Fox News and its former chairman, Roger Ailes.

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