The Miss America Organization announced that it will be replacing the swimsuit competition with an interactive session with the judges. Contestants will also have the opportunity during the evening gown portion to wear whatever they feel most represents their style.
“We are no longer a pageant, we are a competition,” said Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors. “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance.”
The 2018 national competition will reflect these new changes, but, with local pageants well under way, the changes will be implemented locally next year.
A previous miss UF contestant and current judge, Sarah Foss said the swimsuit competition was more about confidence, nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle than on how thin a contestant is.
However, Deanna Rodriguez, the executive director of the UF scholarship pageant, thinks more girls might take interest as a result of the changes.
“Maybe this will allow more girls to feel confident and to do the pageant because they don’t have to be in a swimsuit on stage,” Rodriguez said.