GB Reacts: The 'Evolution' of Miss America
- Earlier this week, the Miss America Organization announced what they called Miss America 2.0. Labeled as 'groundbreaking changes', former Miss America and MAO Chairwoman, Gretchen Carlson, announced that starting from this year physical beauty will no longer important in this new era of the Miss America COMPETITION... not pageant! The swimsuit competition is out and will be replaced by a live interactive session with the judges in which they can highlight their achievements and life goals. Another change is that the evening gown competition will also be scrapped and called the evening attire segment in which the girls can choose whether they want to wear a gown, cocktail dress, pantsuit or anything they feel comfortable in. Naturally, the new direction Miss America is heading in grabbed attention in the United States and around the world. It got people talking and that is never a bad thing in terms of generating interest and curiosity from the public to see what will transpire on stage in Atlantic City on September 9th.
We at Global Beauties also decided to share our opinions regarding these 'groundbreaking changes':
Henrique Fontes (Brazil), Co-Owner and Founder of Global Beauties:
What is new about it? Miss World hasn´t had a swimsuit competition on stage since 1996 and even its preliminary round, or "Beach Fashion", hasn´t happened since 2014. In Brazil we ditched it in 2015 but in 2018 it will return in a "Beach Fashion" format during preliminaries. What I do not agree with is when Miss America says candidates won´t be judged on external beauty, even with no swimwear competition, it will remain a beauty competition. Otherwise, it should end. In a beauty "competition", beauty shall forever remain the key world. In Miss World, for example, it´s "Beauty With a Purpose", rather than "Purpose With no Beauty". I congratulate MAO on a courageous move but hope it won´t go too far and radical. It may ruin the pageant (yes, it remains a pageant!) for good.
Andre Sleigh (South Africa), Co-Owner of Global Beauties:
Personally, I am not opposed to the idea of not having a swimsuit competition. Julia Morley has been doing this for years. So, my first reaction was wondering what was so groundbreaking about this move. They should applaud Miss World for leading way and not act as if they are the first to change the world of misses. I am totally on board with developing the young women competing in this system and all women who want to use these 'competitions' as a springboard to help them achieve their goals. Would I tune in to watch a two hour long job interview/leadership summit? Probably not. I am a pageant fan and will always be one. I will be reading about how it all works out for them and will applaud them if this is a great success. Miss America is moving in a very direction from Miss USA now and that is good in a way. It will give women the opportunity to have a very clear choice. If she feels she wants to enter a competition like Miss America, then that's her absolute right to do so. Those scholarships can help many women in the USA get the education they need to make positive changes in the world. On the other hand, and I feel very strongly about this, contestants should also have the same respect for choosing to enter traditional pageants. Their choice should not be diminished as outdated or superficial. It takes hard work, incredible self-discipline, courage, dedication and determination to participate in any competition. These are transferable life skills that help people learn and grown. On neither side of the choice should anyone look down on another person's choices. Participating in a traditional pageant does NOT mean you are putting yourself out there as a walking invitation to become someone who can say #metoo
We also asked some pageant experts and our readers for their comments. Here's what they had to say:
Arturo Gallo (Canada): I think this is part of the movement that is going around the United States #metoo and #timesup which has shifted the core of the two major pageant organizations in the United States; These corporations, now run by women, are trying to shed away from the misoginist sexual scandals that have surrounded both Miss America Organization recently and the Miss Universe organization tarnished under Donald Trump. Pageants in the US are hitting a big low and the image of women's empowerment needs to be revamped. But then again, what came first: "The chicken or the egg". Pageants began as swimsuit competitions, Miss World dropped the swimsuit part of its "festival", Miss Universe org. does not have a judging panel, but a selection comitee (all women). These changes are bringing pageant followers to the brink of questioning if pageants are really walking to their doom and their last years as the issue of judging women based on looks and a swuimsuit category are still relevant in 2018.
Jean (Belgium): I guess most girls/candidates don't mind the swimsuit competition, however a cocktail dress competition could replace it .....modernisation doesn't come with getting rid of the swimsuits though.
Antonio Rivadeneira (Ecuador/Canada): Agree !! Beauty pageants are about empowering women and to judge a girl about how she looks in a swimsuit is a downgrade. At the same time, how many times do we see the winner of the pageant in a swimsuit after the pageant? Maybe once or twice ? So why is necessary to judge her in swimsuit? Miss world ditched the swimsuit competition back in 1997 and as result more empowered woman joined the pageant and is now the most competitive international pageant and the one with the most followers. Miss World winners have became global leaders in contrast to most of the winners of other pageants.
Myo Lwin (Myanmar): Beauty Pageants are not about swimsuits. They are about empowering women so my opinion is that swimsuits are not a major factor in beauty pageants. For example, one of the oldest and most famous pageants, Miss World already got rid of the swimsuit competition on stage long ago.
Normarie Casiano (Puerto Rico): I agree with them. Miss America is considered a scholarship program and is more oriented towards community service and academic achievements. I always viewed the swimsuit competition as out of place in a contest like this. It was about time that the Miss America contestants should be viewed as intelligent and talented, just as Miss World did a few years ago, also eliminating the swimsuit competition. Things are really changing in these pageants. The women taking part in them are thinking individuals, not objects of beauty.
"Canadian": My prediction is that Miss America will be off network tv within 2-3 years. Nobody wants to watch a “non-beauty” pageant. Just talent and interviews? Yawn!! The type of people that they are trying to appeal by taking out the swimsuits hate pageants anyways and won’t care if beauty isn’t evaluated. This pageant will go the way of “America’s Junior Miss,” which became so boring and politically correct that it lost its tv network and I think it may not even be around anymore. If they really want to prove that the pageant isn’t sexist, they should keep it a beauty pageant but add a men’s division.
Matt: If this decision is to set it apart from Miss USA, i believe its a good move. It's a competition to receive a scholarship from the organisation. It would be interesting if the winner actually represents USA at an international stage.
Walt: So it's going to be like a glorified televised job interview then - well in this case, a scholarship interview. Yup, indeed it's not a pageant anymore. I respect that. So who will be the target audience - Human Resources Departments or Admission Councils? Just saying.
Suzy Austin: I think this is a great decision!!!!!!!!!!! Most of the top pageants have contestant parading in swim suits and high heels. How stupid is this, who ever heard of anyone wearing high heels at beach or pool, which is where swimsuits are usually worn. For goodness sake this is the 21st century. Why not use active wear as they do for Teen USA, much more sensible.