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Miss America eliminates swimsuits and won't judge on looks

(Chinadaily.com.cn)    07:30, June 06, 2018

 

File photo: Miss Texas Margana Wood reacts after advancing from the swimsuit component of the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, US, Sept 10, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Miss America pageant is dropping the swimsuit competition, saying it will no longer judge contestants on their appearance.

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

But it has run into resistance to the swimsuit, and to a lesser extent, evening gown competitions, that had come by some to be seen as outdated. An email scandal last December in which former Miss America officials denigrated the intelligence, appearance and sex lives of former title winners led to a shake-up at the top, and the group's top three leadership positions are now held by women.

"We're not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you," Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who is head of the organization's board of trustees, said while making the announcement Tuesday on "Good Morning America."Carlson, whose sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes led to his departure, said the board has heard from potential contestants saying, "We don't want to be out there in high heels and swimsuits.""Guess what?" she said. "You don't have to anymore."In place of the swimsuit competition, contestants will participate in an 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 organization said in a statement.


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