This year’s pageant is more diverse than ever, including contestants from diverse backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and career experiences. Furthermore, its lineup of hosts and judges boasts incredible diversity; this includes Aparna Shewakramani as co-host of this year’s competition.
She believes that dropping the swimsuit portion would be a step in the wrong direction, likening it to Ruth’s Chris deciding not to offer steak anymore.
The history of the pageant
The Miss America pageant has long caused mixed emotions among viewers, yet one image remains prevalent: that of an attractive woman wearing a skimpy bikini in high heels. Established nearly 100 years ago in Atlantic City as a bathing beauty contest designed to keep tourists coming after Labor Day, its purpose has since expanded significantly over time.
As it has evolved into a nationally televised event, and since has undergone several modifications. The organization shifted their focus from women’s physical appearances towards their achievements and goals; evening gown competitions were added while swimsuit competition was eliminated altogether.
Though these changes have proven successful at drawing in new audiences, the pageant has experienced some backlash due to former CEO Sam Haskell’s offensive comments regarding past contestants and low ratings as a result of said scandal. Furthermore, some former Miss Americas believe that this organization has tried to rebrand itself too heavily; according to them, its purpose no longer fits today’s women.
The swimsuit competition
When we think of miss america swimsuit competition 2023, what typically comes to mind is an attractive woman wearing a bikini and sky-high heels – but that hasn’t always been how this pageant has operated.
Beginning nearly 100 years ago as an Atlantic City bathing beauty contest, and often drawing criticism for focusing on appearance. Now however, the organization is making steps to change its image by abandoning swimsuit competition in favor of placing more focus on winning candidates’ platforms and what they have to say about them.
Gretchen Carlson, who took over as chairwoman of the board for this pageant in January, says the change is a step in the right direction. Carlson hopes it will attract younger women who value intelligence, accomplishments, and goals in competing against one another in an environment which emphasizes intelligence over appearances. While the pageant still includes talent competitions and evening gown competitions, its focus will now be more on what contestants have to say rather than what contestants look like.
The evening gown competition
Recently, The pageant made headlines for taking steps to ease tension by discontinuing its controversial swimsuit competition – something many past winners had asked for – as an attempt to shift focus away from contestants’ physical appearance and back onto other elements such as talent portions, evening wear showcases, and interviews.
But some former Miss Americas say the new rules don’t go far enough, with them noting that while the organization claims not to judge candidates on appearance, it still feels like an old-school beauty pageant.
Kirsten Haglund, who won Miss Maine USA 2008 and has championed healthy eating initiatives since, believes swimsuit competitions hinder women’s efforts towards accepting themselves and accepting their bodies. When girls are judged based on how they look it can send the message that they’re not enough; something Haglund sees as detrimental to young girls’ self-esteem. To know about how to spice up long distance relationship visit Lady Mama.
Swimsuit competitions have long been at the heart of discussions regarding women’s roles and perceptions. While some saw it as liberation, others saw objectification of women and an attack against feminism. By eliminating swimsuit competitions entirely from pageant contests, pageants may aim to shift away from physical beauty towards holistic evaluations of contestants.
Miss America finalists compete in three equal stages of preliminary competition: interview, activewear/swimsuit and evening gown. Winners in these categories earn tickets to compete at nationals as well as appearance contracts and guaranteed magazine covers on “The Platform”.
Contestants in pageant contests face intense interrogations during interviews regarding current events, cultural controversies and their platforms. Technically, this aspect counts for 25 percent of their total score but everyone in pageantry knows it plays a critical role – most winners ace it without issue but some controversy still occurs!