sports & entertainment
Miss America Drops Swimsuit Competition
Jun 7, 2018 at 04:18 AM

Food For Thought

Was eliminating the swimsuit competition a good decision for Miss America? Does the pageant's pivot away from physical appearance carry broader societal significance?

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The Quick Facts

Here are some facts you should know before engaging with our spectrum of opinions:

  • On Tuesday, the Miss America organization announced it would be eliminating the iconic swimsuit competition from its annual pageant.
  • The Miss America beauty pageant first began in the 1920s to select “the most beautiful bathing girl in America,” but in more recent years contestants have been judged on interviews and talent performances in addition to physical appearance.
  • The competition is open to women from the United States between the ages of 17 and 25, and the winner of the title spends the following year traveling around the country promoting causes of interest.
  • The next Miss America celebration will see the removal of both the swimsuit and traditional evening gown competitions, changes that reflect the organization’s hope to shift focus away from the physical appearance of its competitors.
  • Gretchen Carlson, chair of Miss America’s board of directors, stated: “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” a significant change in nature intended to make the pageant more “open, transparent, inclusive to woman who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before.”

Food For Thought

Was eliminating the swimsuit competition a good decision for Miss America? Does the pageant's pivot away from physical appearance carry broader societal significance?

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