No More Swimsuit Competition for Miss America

The women competing to be Miss America will no longer be judged on “outward physical appearance,” said the board of trustees of the Miss America Organization. That ends the swimsuit portion of the competition. 

In its place, each candidate will participate in a live interactive session with the judges, where she will highlight her achievements and goals, and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition if she wins.

ABC airs the 2019 Miss America Competition Sunday, Sept. 9. It takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

The former evening gown competition will now give participants the freedom to “outwardly express their self-confidence in evening attire of their choosing while discussing how they will advance their social impact initiatives,” said ABC.

“We are no longer a pageant." said Gretchen Carlson, chair of the board of trustees. "Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment. We’re experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues. Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”

Cara Mund of North Dakota won last year.

“Miss America’s new mission statement is: ‘to prepare great women for the world and to prepare the world for great women,’” said Regina Hopper, president & CEO. “We want more young women to see this program as a platform upon which they can advance their desire to make a real difference and to provide them with the necessary skills and resources for them to succeed in any career path they choose.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.