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The end of an era: Miss America kills its swimsuit competition

By Bukky Babalola, Corvaya Jeffries

Published June 14, 2018

When you think Miss America, you probably think swimsuits and evening gowns, but prepare yourself for change. The swimsuit segment is no more.

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

That means viewers will no longer "oohhh" and "aahhh" at gorgeous women in swimsuits.

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

Swimsuits have been a part of Miss America’s culture since its establishment in 1921.

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The images of scantily-clad young women are often thought to have contributed to the stereotyping of women as feather-brained, fluffy, talentless — and worse.

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From labels of "Miss Piggy" to suggestions that participants are "carriers of sexually transmitted diseases," women in pageants have experienced their share of body-shaming and slut-shaming.

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Gretchen Carlson, chair of the Miss America board of directors, said that the new Miss America will become a “competition” and not a “pageant.”

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When the Miss America board said it would end the swimsuit segment of what was once a “bathing beauty revue,” the backlash came fast from some fans — especially men.

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Piers Morgan, British journalist, addresses what he calls the “American tragedy” of a changing Miss America.

He's not alone in his opinion.

Twitter/@piersmorgan

American stand-up comedian Tom Cotter said he thinks Miss America is headed for failure.

Twitter/TomCotterComic

The entire point is to look at attractive ladies and be inspired by attractive ladies being attractive.

Steven Crowder, American-Canadian commentator

YouTube/Steven Crowder

Is beauty synonymous with bikinis? Is an event featuring women worthless if they aren’t scantily clad? For some, the answer seems to be “yes.”

The next Miss America competition is September 9 — and despite complaints from these men and people like them, they’ll probably be tuned in, even if it is just out of curiosity.

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