Not that the Miss America pageant hasn’t seen its share of controversy over the years, but this year’s competition might prove to court the biggest brouhaha yet. As news outlets are reporting there is a veritable civil war breaking out over the changes the pageant (now referred to as a ‘competition’) has brought to light this year for Miss America 2018.
And one of the biggest changes concerns couture.
The shake-ups in the Miss America camp seem to have started in earnest when former Fox News host, Gretchen Carlson, (a 1989 Miss America herself) took over as chair of the beauty contest (sorry, ‘competition’) and with the installation of several other past winners in key leadership roles at the start of 2018. The Carlson team have implemented changes that have brought both criticism and solidarity to this 97-year old event, with critics and supporters indeed lining up on both sides of the isle.
The biggest change for many? It’s the one seemingly addressing changing times, women’s roles and fashion; Carlson and Co. removed the pageant’s famous swimsuit competition from the show.
Many television markets claim they would not air the show without the iconic display of flesh, while others say they certainly would…and be proud to, in fact. Still, nobody has yet to go on record that the current #MeToo climate has prompted Carlson and her team to ban swimsuits. With no reason given we can all just speculate.
Other changes? The pageant is now being referred to as a “competition,” as mentioned, the contestants as “candidates” and a new scoring system emphasizes talent first and foremost.
Twenty-two state organizers are claiming that the drastic new changes came without their knowledge or they were fed misinformation about the new plans. Last week these organizers signed a petition as four new board members of the Miss America competition resigned in the drama.