Miss America Ends Swimsuit and Evening Wear Competition

"We are no longer a pageant," the organization announced.

June 5, 2018

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Miss America is dropping its famous swimsuit and evening wear competitions. In fact, contestants won't be judged on their physical appearance at all.

Miss America Board of Directors Chair Gretchen Carlson made the announcement Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“We are no longer a pageant,” Carlson, a former Miss America herself, said. "We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge.” 

Instead of showing off their swimsuit and evening wear looks, contestants be given an opportunity to highlight their goals, talents, and passions during the show.

"We're not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you," Carlson said.

The competition, which dates back almost a century, has had a bit of an identity crisis in recent years. Some critics called the swimsuit and evening gown competitions outdated. Additionally, some of the organization's previous leaders came under fire late last year for comments they had made about some of the titleholders.

The 2019 competition will air live from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Sept. 9 on ABC.