"We are no longer a pageant. Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent, and empowerment.”
This is what Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America and the head of the Miss America Organization’s board of trustees, announced during a morning TV show on ABC TV on Tuesday.
After 96 years since Miss America beauty pageant was first founded, its organizers decided to call off the swimsuit competition in which contestants are judged based on their physical looks.
The announcement was also made on the Miss America official Twitter account, in which a white bikini vanishes in a puff of smoke with a hashtag #byebyebikini.
Replacing the swimsuit competition, an interactive sessions with the judges will be held where contestants will be judged based on their passion, intelligence and their understanding of the role of Miss America.
Another progress for the pageant will be in getting rid of the evening gown portion and replacing it with a discussion between contestants and judges on how they will advance their chosen causes, in which they will wear clothes that make them feel confident tand allow them to express their personal style.
“Revolutionary changes” as some might refer to, came in the wake of MeToo movement where more women are encouraged to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues around the world. Additionally, Carlson had earlier sued her former employer at Fox News for sexual harassment. "Thousands of women have been inspired to know that they can stand up and speak up and their voices will be heard,” she said.
Opinion online has been divided. Many critics observed that the whole concept of Miss America is to judge women based on their hotness, wondering what is it going to be about now?
While some others think the concept behind the competition is sexist, and called to scap it all.
Joe Walsh, a former Congressman and radio host, seems not to like the recent changes as well.
Well, others had a different opinion,
On the other hand, backers of the changes expressed their gratitude to Carlson for taking an initiative that will mark a changing point in the history.
Moreover, Miss America changes came few months after changing the name of the Boy Scouts of America to “Scouts of America” allowing girls to join from 2018, raising questions among Americans on latest changes in gender equality concepts.
© 2000 - 2019 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)