CHICAGO (CBS) — The Miss America Organization is announcing they are eliminating the bikini portion of their competition due, in part, to the rise of the “Me Too” movement.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports while some are embracing the move, others are saying the decision is happening too fast.
#ByeByeBikini is how the Miss America Organization is hash-tagging its decision to cut the swimsuit competition from its televised broadcast.
“We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” stated Gretchen Carlson, Chairwoman of the Miss America Board of Directors.
Some former contestants, including Miss Illinois 2012’s Megan Noble, are disappointed to see the swimsuit portion go.
“For me, that’s always been one of the funnest areas of the competition, in an area that was really important to me because my degree was in exercise science,” stated Noble.
Noble won the award for the swimsuit category in both the Miss Illinois and Miss America pageants.
“It’s about living a healthy lifestyle in a world that has an all-time epidemic rate of obesity, both in children and adults,” stated Noble. “Swimsuits are a platform to showcase that there are young people in this world, young women, are striving to live a healthy lifestyle and be role models.”
Some fans of the show are also disappointed there will no longer be a swimsuit competition.
“In my opinion it’s not objectifying women,” stated Kyle Snedker, who enjoys watching the competition. “You know, its empowering women.”
“They took years trying to get to this level,” stated Diane Ross. “That’s part of their MO, so why change it?”
Others, including Kristina Straub, are applauding the organization’s decision.
“I think it’s great,” stated Straub. “I think it’s a good change for the future because now I think it will allow for the ladies to be judged more on their brains versus how they look.”
The swimsuit competition will be replaced with a more interactive session between judges and contestants.
The evening gown portion of the competition is also changing to allow contestants to wear whatever they choose.