“We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition.” according to Gretchen Carlson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organisation and former winner of Miss America, on Good Morning America.
Participants will no longer take part in swimsuit or evening gown parades – but rather an interactive session with the judges where they will have the opportunity to display their intellectual and personal prowess and one in which they’ll don an outfit that expresses their personal sense of style.
The move is intended to empower the participants. Personally, I don’t make a value judgement on the worth of women extracting their sense of empowerment from a) their appearances or b) their intellect – it’s horses for courses, in my opinion. And it seems a shame that increasingly women who do find empowerment in looking great are having their spaces taken away from them – Miss America, darts walk-on girls, grid girls…
Impact on ratings is yet to be seen.