Thursday, Jun 20, 2024 | Last Update : 01:11 AM IST

  Life   More Features  07 Jun 2018  Decision to eliminate swimsuit round from Miss America slammed by former contestants

Decision to eliminate swimsuit round from Miss America slammed by former contestants

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Jun 7, 2018, 12:57 pm IST
Updated : Jun 7, 2018, 12:57 pm IST

The empowerment of women is left ambiguous after the removal of this significant feature in the beauty pageant.

Critics commented on twitter calling it a ‘horrible decision’ which will ‘ruin the show and tradition’ (Photo: AFP)
 Critics commented on twitter calling it a ‘horrible decision’ which will ‘ruin the show and tradition’ (Photo: AFP)

Former Miss Americas chant “You can be a feminist in a swimsuit” in a chorus of criticism at the decision of eliminating swimsuit competition from the beauty pageant. Abolishing the feature of the famous beauty pageant has been regarded ridiculous as ‘everyday is a beauty pageant’.

The competition may ‘cease to exist’ as criticised by former Miss Ohio USA 2014. Many preliminary swimsuit winners at the Miss America beauty pageants have expressed their disappointment at the news, including a former Miss Texas who was a swimsuit winner at the 2012 pageant. 'As a former Miss America swimsuit winner, I have mixed feelings about getting rid of that part of the competition,' Morris wrote in a tweet.

The Former Miss America winners argue about effects of this beauty pageant for their daily life as they experience firsthand benefits of the fitness portion by receiving scholarship money, working with trainers who volunteered their time to teach how to eat healthy and exercise not just for 15 seconds onstage but for life”. The purpose of these changes is exclaimed by Gretchen Carlson, the new chair for the Miss America Board of Trustees, to be a ‘cultural evolution’.

This sounds more like a strategic marketing strategy for a declining competition. These changes were further retaliated during an interview with Orlando Sentinel, during which she said 'What does a feminist look like? 'A feminist is someone who, male or female, wants to position women so that they are powerful and that they have choices. And so, I feel like you can be in a swimsuit and a feminist.'

The empowerment of women is left ambiguous after the removal of this significant feature in the beauty pageant. As former Miss Wisconsin 2016 tweeted a photo of herself in a swimsuit saying that she feels “pretty darn empowered”, many models in beauty pageants joined her in saying that “We don’t need Miss America 2.0 to empower women”.

Wearing a bikini on stage isn’t about having a toned body but more about their confidence in their own skin, which is empowering. Thus, it’s about ‘being accountable and striving to look your best by being healthy in your lifestyle’. This important feature of the competition insinuates that a woman can’t have both beauty and brains.

Regardless of the criticism stating that “If you want a competition, go throw darts”, Gretchen Carlson, the  new head of the organization’s board of directors confirmed that Miss America will no longer judge women based on their physical appearance and that it is no longer a pageant and has transitioned into 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'', Carlson said. 'So guess what, you don't have to do that anymore.' The primary aim of the beauty pageant is changing as they are more keen to welcome more women in this organization. 'It's going to be what comes out of their mouths we're interested in when they talk about their social impact initiatives,' Carlson said.

However, critics comment on twitter saying that it is a ‘horrible decision’ which will ‘ruin the show and tradition’. Their frustration has been shown as they write on twitter, 'Gretchen Carlson has no clue, experience, or idea that she has single-handedly doomed the show'.

'So basically they are getting rid of the only reason people actually watch Miss America?' one man asked. Saying that Miss America contestants will no longer be judged by their appearance is like saying that the Super Bowl can’t be won by a team scoring the most point.

Apart from the criticism of this decision, there was plenty of support for it as many fans called the news ‘amazing’. 'This is huge!!' another added. 'We now live in a world that sees the value in solely judging women on their intellect and not their bodies.'

'Bravo Miss America! What a great step in the right direction.' 'Way to go Miss America,' another added. 'It's about damn time, way to be led by women and driven by strength and not appearance.'

Tags: fashion and beauty, miss america, swimsuit round