The Miss America Pageant has recently had some work done. And unlike some beauties, they’re not afraid to admit it.
After a sexism scandal ousted most of the board members, it was just announced that the pageant – now run completely by women – is no longer a “pageant.” According to the new Board Chair, Gretchen Carlson, Miss America is now a “competition.”
Furthermore, swimsuits are out. Yes, amid the #MeToo era, this competition that has asked overweight middle-aged men to literally rate and score barely-legal female body parts since 1921, will no longer require women to strip down to a bikini and strut around in heels in order to win an educational scholarship.
Yes, let’s applaud this paragon of morality and feminism.
According to the organization, a contestant will instead “interact with the judges to highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.” Yes, there’s no way asking pretty young women to meet with the judges to show their “talents, passion, and ambition to perform” could ever go wrong. By the way, have you met our illustrious judge, Harvey?
But not everyone is thrilled with the changes. One former contestant claimed that the crowd-cheering bikini walk “gave [her] a rush and sense of courage [she] never thought possible. [And she] will never again be able to get that feeling." Now that’s what our young girls should to aspire to: confidence via boobs.
However, the new lack of cleavage could affect the show’s viewership. Men loved the bathing suits. Women loved the evening wear. And that, too, is now gone. Instead, contestants will swap out the gowns for “whatever they choose” to show who they are and what makes them feel confident.
Because everyone tunes in to Miss America to check out a woman’s confidence.
This new focus will eliminate the judgement of outward physical appearance and highlight these women’s intelligence and social change initiatives. So once again, contestants will be asked to explain their solutions for complex social issues. And this time, they might get a whole minute for the subject matter instead of twenty seconds!
Maybe the contestants will benefit from these changes. But what about the butt glue manufacturers? They could be put out of business.
And will advertisers remain on board? In the past, poor viewership caused the pageant to struggle financially and even use their scholarship money to pay the bills. And what’s a pageant without the all-important scholarships?
The Miss America program has proudly promoted that it donates upwards of $45 million in scholarship money to women. In actual fact, it simply made that money “available” to women – like Captain America’s Chris Evans is “available” to me. But he still won’t show up at my door on Friday night. And Miss America barely awards a fraction of that money.
Given our obsession of external appearances, only time will tell if viewers embrace these changes.
Personally, I have to wonder … is the end of Miss America nigh?