DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Miss America is getting rid of the swimsuit portion and says it’ll no longer judge on looks. It also no longer requires contestants to wear gowns.
Organizers of Miss Vermilion County Fair say this change could be very empowering for girls who want to get involved in pageants.
It’s not associated with Miss America in any way, but say this could end up affecting how other pageants like theirs work years down the road.
Miss America was built as a bathing suit beauty contest nearly a century ago, but now the new leadership wants it to shift from beauty to brains.
Those here in Central Illinois are excited to see what happens next.
“I think that it takes a lot of stress of contestants. I know that the swimsuit portion has always been kind of nerve-wracking for some people. It takes a lot of guts to get up there and be confident in your swimsuit and I think that more girls may be more apt to compete because they don’t feel that they have to be up there in front of everybody in a swimsuit.”
She says this could open up the door for more girls who might be interested in pageants.
A statement on the Miss America website reads: “Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment.”