Breaking 97 years of history, influential beauty pageant Miss America has dropped the “swimsuit and evening gown” portion for the competition marking the end of an era for beauty pageants. The beauty contest is essentially a scholarship. The last crowned Miss America, Cara Mund says, “You don’t have to be in a swimsuit to earn a scholarship.” Miss America Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson claims that Miss America is no longer a pageant, it is a competition, and they will no longer judge candidates on their outward physical appearance. The swimsuit portion will be replaced with a panel interview of contestants. The contestants are now also allowed to wear something other than gowns if they want.
The organization broke the news on Twitter with a short video of a white bikini going up in a puff of smoke with the hashtag #byebyebikini spurring the change as a part of the #metoo movement.