Miss America Makeover: Contestants To No Longer Be Judged on Appearance

Trump I wouldn’t have hired Manafort if I knew FBI was going after him

Trump I wouldn’t have hired Manafort if I knew FBI was going after him

Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America now chair of the Miss America Organization, said on "Good Morning America," that the program is no longer a pageant.

"Up until this morning we've been prepared to have a swimsuit competition, but now we're waiting to get direction from Miss America", Pitts said.

Miss America contestants will compete wearing evening attire of their choosing that makes them feel confident and expresses their personal style.

The announcement Tuesday came after a shake-up at the Miss America Organization that resulted in the top three leadership positions being held by women. While Miss America is part scholarship program, part pageant and has included talent and speaking portions in the past, it is, by far, a young ladies' beauty competition.

Carlson continued: "It's going to be what comes out of their mouth that we're interested in, when they talk about their social impact initiatives".

Former Miss Tennessee 1986 and Miss America 1987 Kellye Cash says the interviews that will replace that competition will define the next Miss America. The program began as a swimsuit competition in 1921, and although that was almost a century ago, she said she was sad to see a severing from the swimwear tradition. "It taught me a lifelong discipline beyond the Miss America stage".

Late a year ago, a number of emails were leaked that showed conversations between the pageant's CEO Sam Haskell and others within the organization, insulting former winners' bodies, slut-shaming them, referring to them with misogynistic slurs, and even conspiring to tank their businesses and deny them their livelihood.

The 2019 Miss America Competition will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, just as the first Miss America Pageant was almost a century ago. "For many years that's been a part of the Miss America organization", Pitts said.

Leanza Cornett, Miss America 1993, supports the change, adding the swimsuit competition was something she felt she had to endure.

The changes will take effect with this year's competition, which is set for September.

The event originated in 1921 as a bathing beauty revue, but will henceforth see candidates participate in a live interactive session with the judges rather than swanning by in high heels and high-cut swimsuits.

"I think they're trying to take it to a level that gives the girls more options", Whitten said. "You're just mad you can't gawk at them like meat anymore", another wrote.

Emails from former Miss America CEO Sam Haskell leaked in December, revealing he and others made insulting comments about former contestants.

Carlson said she is not anxious ratings for the nationally televised broadcast might suffer because of the elimination of swimsuits.

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