FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 5, 2018: Miss America Organization retires swimsuit competition
The Miss America Organization announced this morning the historic event will retire the swimsuit portion of competition at all levels, effective at the national competition this September and going forward, starting with local competitions beginning this summer.
“We are no longer a pageant,” Gretchen Carlson, the first former Miss America to be named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, told Good Morning America Tuesday morning. “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.”
The decision is fully supported by the Miss Nebraska Organization Board and Executive Director Rachel Daly, who discussed the changes this morning with the 2018 Miss Nebraska contestants.
“Our number one goal is to empower women through service, scholarship, and other attributes strengthened by participating in our program,” said Daly. “While we strongly encourage these young women to continue to focus on health and fitness, we also hope that this step will encourage more of our state’s most talented and intelligent women to see what we can offer without fears of body image or objectification. In addition, we hope these changes will inspire businesses and organizations to continue to support and partner with us; while the women who participate in our program are certainly poised and beautiful in their own skin, we are not a pageant judging women based on their outer beauty, but a program promoting confidence and positive self-image, public speaking skills, networking, performance opportunities, and community betterment, offering more than $1.4 million this year alone in college tuition scholarships assisting these women to complete their higher education.”
The former evening gown aspect of competition is also changing, now allowing contestants the freedom to outwardly express their self confidence in evening attire of their choice, while discussing how they will advocate for social impact initiatives. Talent, which has historically been a distinguishing element of the Miss America Organization, will remain a highlight of competition.
“Women who feel confident and beautiful in an evening gown will be allowed to continue doing so,” said Daly. “Others who feel as though their personalities or community service initiatives are better represented with different attire will be allowed more options. This change allows a woman to express her own inner beauty and confidence, while allowing all involved to focus more on a woman’s intelligence, articulation and awareness of current events and important issues.”
The 2018 Miss Nebraska Competition will follow the current format and include the swimsuit competition. The new guidelines set forth by the Miss America Organization are expected to become official and therefore used at local competitions by mid-July.
The 2018 Miss Nebraska Competition takes place June 6-9 in North Platte, Nebraska and will be streamed LIVE online. For more information, visit us online at www.missnebraska.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/missnebraskaorg/.