Miss America Telecast Drops Swimsuit Competition in Nod to Changing Times

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The almost century-old Miss America competition will drop its well-known swimsuit competition this year and will no longer judge contestants based on their physical appearance, a top organization official said on Tuesday. "Until curvy women sign up and participate and overwhelmingly start getting their foot out there and participating, you're not going to see it as much because they don't feel they're accepted there, but they are".

McKinney competed in local contests as a teen, and as a mother, watched her daughter win Miss West Virginia in 2013.

The changes, Carlson explained, are about being "open, transparent" and "inclusive" to women of every shape and size. "You don't have to anymore". Judging contestants based on how they look, particularly in the "swimsuit competition", will no longer be a part of the annual event. Each woman will discuss her life goals and how she will use her own skills to "perform the job of Miss America", the organization said in a statement.

For the full story, head on over to The Washington Post.

This Miss America Organization is now under completely new leadership comprised of Miss Americas and state titleholders from years past.

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By shifting the emphasis away from physical appearance and focusing instead on personality and intellect, Carlson said she believes the competition will see an "influx" of new contests and new company sponsorships. But prosecutors say they worked with Manafort in organizing a group of former European officials, known as the Hapsburg Group, who promoted Ukrainian interests in Europe as well as the U.S. "Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement".

"Change is rarely easy, and I think it will take some time for many people who have been invested in the Miss America Organization to make this adjustment", said Maggie Benton, Miss Arkansas 2017.

But for the 30 women vying for the title of Miss Virginia - which takes place June 21-23 at Liberty University - the competition will continue with its traditional five competition categories: a private interview, talent, fitness/swimsuit, evening gown and on-stage question.

Miss Iowa 2016, Kelly Koch, also commented on the move, saying, "Miss America and Miss State have always been known to be not just talented, smart and articulate but also attractive".

In May, Regina Hopper (Miss Arkansas 1989) was appointed president and CEO while Marjorie Vincent-Tripp (Miss America 1991) was named chair of the Board of Trustees. Once her contract ended, however, Carlson filed (and eventually settled) a lawsuit against former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, and has since been an outspoken advocate against sexual harassment.

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