End of an era: Miss America waves goodbye to iconic swimsuit round

End of an era: Miss America waves goodbye to iconic swimsuit round

The Miss America beauty pageant has announced it is dropping its swimsuit round and will no longer judge participants based on their appearance.

Olivia Butler, Miss Tampa 2017 and second runner-up for Miss Florida, both of which are connected to the Miss America competition, said she and many other former contestants are applauding the decision.

The swimsuit portion will reportedly be replaced by a live segment focusing on contestants' character and skills. In the swimsuit competition's place, contestants will participate in a session where they interact with judges and highlight their own achievements, passions and ambitions.

The 97-year-old competition is also discarding its evening gown section and asking contestants to wear clothes that make them feel confident.

"We are no longer a pageant", Carlson said.

"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", Carlson said.

Carlson noted that the changes aim to foster a more "inclusive" and "transparent" environment within the competition, and hopefully be more appealing to a younger audience. We want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents and then we want to hand you scholarships.

The competition began almost 100 years ago in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a bathing beauty contest created to keep tourists coming to the seaside resort the weekend after Labor Day.


"Up until this morning we've been prepared to have a swimsuit competition, but now we're waiting to get direction from Miss America", Pitts said.

"We want more women to know that they are welcome", she added. Waring said she and other Miss Americas - they call themselves "the forevers" - were alerted to the switch during a conference call last week.

"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, the group's president and CEO. The program began as a swimsuit competition in 1921, and although that was almost a century ago, she said she was sad to see a severing from the swimwear tradition.

"It's what comes out of their mouths that we care about", Carlson said.

The Miss America Pageant is no longer to be referred to as a pageant, it's a competition.

"I think it's a necessary change to really change that stereotype and perception of who Miss America is", said Nina Davuluri, who broke a barrier when she was crowned in 2014 as the first Indian-American to win the title.

And they did, ultimately they all resigned after the help of countless former Miss Americas and tens of thousands of change.org signatures.

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