Gretchen Carlson, who took over as chair of the Miss America Organization Board of Trustees following the group’s email scandal, had a major announcement on Tuesday’s Good Morning America: There will be no more swimsuit competition going forward.
“We are no longer a pageant; we are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” Carlson told GMA‘s Amy Robach. “That means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition.”
Carlson said the evening-gown portion of the program will also be revamped. “We’re no longer judging women when they come out in their chosen attire — their evening wear, whatever they choose to do. It’s gonna be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in, when they talk about their social impact initiatives.”
Carlson, who was awarded the Miss America crown in 1989, said this was a board decision. She acknowledged “change can sometimes be difficult,” but was excited for the competition to be “evolving in this cultural revolution.”
Carlson is hopeful this pivot will attract candidates of all shapes and sizes.
“We are now open, inclusive and transparent, and I want to inspire thousands of young people across this country to come and be a part of our program,” she said, “because we want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Erin Jensen