No longer will outside physical appearances be a factor in who becomes Miss America. The organization s getting rid of the outdated swimsuit competition in favor of crowning the next Miss America on her accomplishments, talents, intellect and character.
Gretchen Carlson, former Fox Entertainment correspondent, who sued the company and settled for sexual misconduct against former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the changes with the organization. Carlson also happens to be the first former Miss America winner to come on board as the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization.
She had this to say about the future of Miss America:
We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition. We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore. Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul.
That’s what we’re judging them on now.
Carlson was inspired by her own struggles with the lawsuit and the #MeToo movement to change the direction of Miss America and use it to give women a voice. She said:
I could have never expected what would happen when I sued my former employer at Fox News for sexual harassment 22 months ago, but look what has happened. Thousands of women have been inspired to know that they can stand up and speak up and their voices will be heard.
We are now open, inclusive and transparent and I want to inspire thousands of young people across this country to come and be a part of our program. We want you and we want to celebrate your accomplishments and your talents and then we want to hand you scholarships.
The changes may be in part that the Miss America organization in now run by an all female leadership team.
This is a new beginning and change can sometimes be difficult but I know a lot about change. My life has worked in mysterious ways. I never thought I’d be the chairwoman of the Miss America Organization, but here I am and we’re moving it forward and we’re evolving in this cultural revolution.
You can see Carlson on GMA below:
JUST IN: “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge. And that means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition.” – @GretchenCarlson on the major changes coming to @MissAmericaOrg https://t.co/ICRIsRN71h pic.twitter.com/IWKcVvCC50
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 5, 2018
H/T: ABC News