Across the world, scrutinizing the female body to bits is a part of almost every beauty pageant. While most organizers (or even contestants, for that matter) fail to figure the hidden objectification that triggers such determinants, some are definitely taking one step towards change. The Miss America organization has decided to drop the swimsuit competition, one that participants had to go through all these years.
We're not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you," Gretchen Carlson, former Miss America and now head of the organization's board of trustees, said as she addressed the country on TV show Good Morning America.
The competition had originated almost a century ago in Atlanta, as a bathing beauty contest which was also a major tool to attract tourists to the seaside resorts. "I hated it. I always felt awkward and uncomfortable. But I did recognize the significance of that part of the competition. Part of the tradition of why we were here in Atlantic City was that it started as a bathing beauty competition. So I put up with it.”
“In the climate of #MeToo, I think it's a really wise decision. We're living in a different era now, and when we move forward for the empowerment of women, we will be taken much more seriously, and I think that's huge," Leanza Comett, Miss America 1993, told Associated Press.
The board is going to make changes to the evening wear competition, but will not definitely judge participants on their appearance. "It's what comes out of their mouths that we care about," Carlson emphasised.
She is the same woman who brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, eventually leading to his departure.
Let's hope other major beauty pageants follow their footsteps too!