|Miss America contestants from 1953 (Wikimedia)|
TVIn a press release sent from ABC, it was announced that the board of trustees of the Miss America Organization made major changes to the competition that will go in effect this September. Since 1921, the bathing suit round was a major part of the beauty pageant, but effective this year, the 51 women representing their home states and the District of Columbia will no longer be judged on outward physical appearance. They even dropped the word “pageant.”
“We are no longer a pageant. Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment,” said Gretchen Carlson, chair of the board of trustees. ”We’re experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues. Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”
While many women around the country have been wondering what took the organization so long to make these changes, it looks like they just might revive interest in the competition and others that value “looks” over talents.
So, for 2019, the swimsuit portion of the competition is no more. In its place, each candidate will participate in a live interactive session with the judges, where she will highlight her achievements and goals in life, and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.
The former evening gown competition will now give participants the freedom to outwardly express their self-confidence in evening attire of their choosing while discussing how they will advance their social impact initiatives. Talent, which has always been a distinguishing element of Miss America, will remain a highlight of the competition.
While many have poked fun at the Miss America Pageant over the years, the fact remains that serving as Miss America is actually a lot of work. For 365 days, Miss America advocates for social issues important to her. In addition to this work, Miss America also serves as an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network and the city of Atlantic City, New Jersey. In return, she gains scholarships to further her education.
“Miss America’s new mission statement is: ‘to prepare great women for the world and to prepare the world for great women,’” said Regina Hopper, president & CEO. “We want more young women to see this program as a platform upon which they can advance their desire to make a real difference and to provide them with the necessary skills and resources for them to succeed in any career path they choose.”
The 2019 Miss America Competition will air live from Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, September 9, 2018. on ABC.