Miss America Pageant Ends Swimsuit Competition

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In response to Me Too, the Miss America Organisation chair Gretchen Carlson has pledged to make the contest more inclusive. Carlson is hoping to achieve this by no longer featuring a swimsuit competition.

On Tuesday, on ABC’s Good Morning America, she said: “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.”

In place of the swimsuit contest, the contestants will take part in a live interactive session with the judges. “She will need to highlight her achievements and how she will use her ambition to perform the job of Miss America.” Carlson, a former Fox News host won Miss America in 1989. In 2016 she settled a lawsuit against executives at the cable news giant and has since become a strong advocate against sexual harassment.

The changes will take effect this year, scheduled September 9th. Miss America, Carlson added, will strive to be inclusive and open.

Even though the move might not be considered groundbreaking it is a step in the right direction and even has us questioning other countries. Last year, Muna Juma, 27, from London won the right not to pose in a bikini in the Miss Universe GB competition. She said: “I wouldn’t wear a bikini to the beach, so I am not going to wear one in a competition”.

However, the current Miss Great Britain this morning defended beauty pageant swimsuit rounds in the United Kingdom. Saffron Hart appeared on Good Morning Britain insisting that she and her rivals were judged as a ‘package’. She said: “You are completely you and it’s just the judges.

Surely though, this can be achieved without being in a skimpy bikini. As well as highlighting body pressures young girls face today it can completely undermine the contestants’ achievements. Potential women who would be fantastic ambassadors for the country might not apply at all. Not to mention how the competition isn’t embracing inclusiveness by keeping the swimsuit round.

After 63 years, Miss World’s chairwoman Julia Morley, ditched the bikini round. In 2014, she told Elle magazine: “I don’t need to see women just walking up and down in bikinis. I don’t care if someone has a bottom two inches bigger than someone else’s. We are really not looking at her bottom. We are really listening to her speak.”

Our thoughts exactly.


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