Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Miss America Contestants to Drop Their Swimsuits

There it is: the headline I've been waiting to write for days.  Thank you! Thank you! I'll be here through the weekend.  Remember to try the veal parmigiana, and for God's sake, tip your waitress.

The real story is that the Miss America competition is being reformed in this "PoundMeToo" age and they're going to drop the swimsuit competition.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. –  The Miss America Organization is dropping the swimsuit competition from its nationally televised broadcast, saying it will no longer judge contestants on their appearance.

The competition began nearly 100 years ago in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a bathing beauty contest designed to keep tourists coming to the seaside resort in the weekend after Labor Day.
Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who is head of the organization's board of trustees, made the announcement Tuesday on "Good Morning America."
"We're not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you," she said.
Can they survive? Mrs. Graybeard summed it up about as well as can be when she said, "men watch the pageant for swimsuits; women watch it for the gowns, fashions and the other stuff. Each one has something to watch if the other turns it on first. What happens to that audience?"  Which is too bad, because Miss America is also dropping the evening gown competition

For her part, Gretchen Carlson doesn't think it will make any difference.  She said, "the swimsuit portion is not the highest rated section of the broadcast. Viewers seem to be more interested in the talent competition," adding
“We are no longer a pageant, we are a competition,” she said. “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance.”
 Perhaps not surprisingly, the actual contestants - present and past winners - aren't uniformly considering it a good change.   Lea Schiazza, a former Miss Pennsylvania, asks if her winning a swimsuit competition trophy is now something that makes her "not good enough" now.
People have been arguing for years over the validity of a competition that awards scholarships for T-and-A. Feminists say there is no place for it in today’s society. People who have never been in a pageant say that the women are being exploited by walking down a runway in a swimsuit and high heels. And women who are supposed to be supportive of other women’s choices, find it all degrading and humiliating.

I say, walk a mile in my high heels and bikinis. I’d like to say two other words to them, but I don’t like confrontation or getting beat up.
Similarly, 2013 Miss Georgia, Carly Mathis, took to Instagram to voice her displeasure, saying “But if I’m going to make my mark on history at least I did it looking like this.”  Contrast them with Heather Kendrick, who held the title of Miss Michigan 2017, and praised the shift
With the move, Kendrick said, “we are taking the focus off of physical appearance and on to what’s in our brains and what’s in our hearts, and that’s really what Miss America is and stands for.”
To be honest, it has been so long since I've watched a pageant on TV that I didn't really know they were still broadcast.  My prediction is that they may have a ratings bounce this year as people tune in to see just what the new competition looks like, but I suspect they'll loose whatever audience they have now.  Will they generate a new audience for the new product they're selling?  We'll see. 

Miss America 1939.  Patricia Donnelly.


  1. I always viewed the talent competition (playing the spoons or reciting the pledge of allegiance) as the worst part of Miss. America. The best rack always drew me to the game - which means the swimsuit competition. Gowns were second.

    The program is dead. Nobody but a few lesbians will watch.

  2. They might as well simply eliminate the thing. Nobody is going to care anymore, male or female.

    Which might have been the point all along, as we slide slowly into the grey Communist garments required for our new life in Utopia.

  3. I think I've watched it 3 or 4 times in my life, so.....meh....

  4. Miss America pageant to become a job web site, competition now based on comparison of resumes. Sponsored by New Coke and Pepsi Blue.

    Feminists say there is no place for [T-and-A] in today's society.

    That's true!

  5. Heh. I came to the same conclusion as Mrs. Graybeard.

  6. Something I meant to add last night and forgot - if the competition has nothing to do with looks, poise, grace under pressure and some of those other things it has always been about, but will be them "answering some questions", what's the difference between that and a game show? Why not just watch Jeopardy?

  7. 's all okay.

    The Boys Scouts are adding a bikini competition, so the Force is in balance.


    1. Well yeah, but their "winner" will be Michael Moore in a G-string.

  8. And in a paroxysm of virtue signaling the next Miss America will be of "mixed race," weigh 350#, and have 4 teeth (brown stumps to be exact). Nobody will watch, but it sure will teach a lesson to the mavens of body shame.

  9. It is more "make believe". We are going to make believe that beauty is not important and perhaps even the single most important thing in young women. Yes, I know they are doctors, lawyers and even mechanics. But I don't look at a woman and say "wow look at the nice set of mechanics pliers she owns. It may be in bad taste but I like woman who are pretty and shapely. At one time that was an acceptable thing for both sexes. Now some people/women think it is sexist to even notice. Can't change biology it is what drives us like it or not.

  10. It's only a matter of time before the pageant is force to allow NONFEMALE contestants....and let be honest.... it's awful tough to hide the "package" in a tight one piece swimsuit.

  11. I find your choice of title to be interesting click bait.

    But then I'm sure that was unintentional...

    Inquiring minds want to know what that did to your hit count for the day?

    1. I think it was back in the early 80s that I saw my favorite headline of all time. If I'm remembering it right, it was in the Florida Today, before the USA Today split, and was about the legal fights over Playalinda Beach becoming a nudist beach. The headline was:

      Both Sides Drop Suits in Nude Beach Standoff

      I was inspired. I know some day the chance would come up to write something like that.

      It's very possible that the story I recall is an "approxo story". The headline might not be exactly right, but I'm sure it said the part about "Both Sides Drop Suits".

  12. I was in the Middle East during election year (some years ago) and the headline in the local english language paper was "Gore licks Bush". I tried to save the paper but the local cleaning staff threw it away.