Organizers of the Miss America pageant announced plans to do away with swimsuits and says they will be more inclusive to women of all shapes and sizes.
Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors and former Miss America, announced the change on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“We are no longer a pagent. We are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” Carlson said.
A statement from the Miss America Organization said the swimsuit portion of the show will be replaced by an interactive discussion session with the judges. Carlson said the changes are being fueled by the rise of the #MeToo movement and “Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”
Unsurprisingly, the Internet errupted with commentary. In response to a tweet by the official Miss America Twitter account that touted the hashtag #byebyebikini, one Twitter user wrote, “Not trying to be funny, but sounds like the competition can be done by essay now.”
Not trying to be funny, but sounds like the competition can be done by essay now. #MissAmericaEssayCompetition
— James Lott (@JamesOLott) June 5, 2018
E. Brian Rose of the The EBR Show said on his podcast, “Sounds more like something that should be on radio. Or at least the judges should be blindfolded and put in another room.”
A Twitter user agreed stating, “Don the burka. That will certainly equalize matters. And why restrict to women? Surprise unveiling after award decision, the ultimate TV reality drama.”
Don the burka. That will certainly equalize matters. And why restrict to women? Surprise unveiling after award decision, the ultimate TV reality drama.
— Mike Borrello (@CsmcPhlospher) June 5, 2018
Watch Gretchen Carlson announce the changes on good Morning America: