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Miss America Scraps Swimsuit Competition in Wake of #MeToo Movement

Miss America Scraps Swimsuit Competition in Wake of #MeToo Movement

The Miss America Organization announced Tuesday that it'll no longer be judging contestants in part on the how they look in a swimsuit, as has been done since the pageant began almost a century ago in Atlantic City.

The contest will also no longer judge women during the evening gown portion of the competition, instead encouraging contestants to use the event to express their personal style. The event started as a swimsuit pageant in Atlantic City in 1921, but the competition will no longer feature a swimsuit portion.

Carlson said that the organization will also allow contestants to wear whatever they'd like during the evening gown segment of the show and that it will be more inclusive to women with bodies of "all shapes and sizes".

But how America views women has changed drastically since then, and the Miss America Organization is run by women who don't think it's such a hot idea.

Carlson says that the pageant wants to be "open, transparent and inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before".

Miss America, Carlson added, will be a "competition", not a "pageant", and will strive to change its public perception by emphasizing its role in providing scholarships to young women and honoring talent.

The 2019 Miss America Competition airs live from Atlantic City Sunday, Sept. 9, at 9/8c on ABC.




Some changes to the pageant's format had been expected since the Miss America organization is now being led entirely by women for the first time. Carlson came on board in January following a shakeup spurred by the disclosure of email correspondence that revealed Miss America leaders making disparaging remarks about current and former contestants.

Contestants compete to be crowned Miss America 1970, Atlantic City, N.J., September 4, 1969.

The Miss America Organization said the talent portion would remain in place.

She added: "In the climate of #MeToo, I think it's a really wise decision".

"We are not stupid", Leonard Horn, the organization's chief executive, said in 1993.

"That the board is now made up of people who have actually held the title is very exciting to me", former Miss New York 2012 and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan told The Post. "We should be honoring them, and that doesn't involve putting on a two-piece bathing suit and walking onstage in heels".

Carlson settled a lawsuit claiming she was harassed while with her former employer by Fox chairman Roger Ailes for $20 million.


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