Delmarva Reacts to No Swim Suits in Miss America Competition - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Reacts to No Swimsuits in Miss America Competition

Posted: Jun 05, 2018 4:29 PM Updated:

SALISBURY, Md.- It's out with the old and in with the new for the Miss America organization. It is getting rid of the swimsuit portion of the competition. Miss America Board of Directors Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson announced the move Tuesday morning.

The organization says it doesn't want to be known as a beauty pageant, but rather a competition. The organization says it is making these big decisions to be more inclusive of women of all sizes and will no longer judge contestants on their appearance. Some, like Rachel Taylor and Jameelah Wallace, agree with the new changes.

"I think it's a good step in a positive direction towards showing more value to what a woman thinks than what she looks like," Taylor said.

"Without it, it gives more women the chance to wear different things that aren't so revealing," Wallace said.

But it's a harder pill to swallow for others. Besides her role as a radio host at WBOC, April Brilliant has been involved in the pageant industry for 35 years.

"I was a former Miss America title holder here locally on Delmarva, and then I was Miss Maryland Unites States," Brilliant said.

Brilliant is now a pageant coach for young girls looking to get involved in competitions here on Delmarva. Brilliant explains the swimsuit portion of the competition doesn't sexualize women.

"It's not necessarily about beauty per se, but having an overall pride in the way you look and present yourself," she said.

Another possible change the Miss America organization could be making: getting rid of evening gowns.
"It's glamorous, it's beautiful and as a contestant, you really do get to feel like the queen you are modeling an evening gown. So I'm very, very sad to see that go away if it does," Brilliant said.

As far when changes will be implemented, The Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization, who has a competition coming up on June 16, is not changing any areas of the competition or scoring this year. That also goes for the outstanding teen competition as well.

The Miss America organization says it will provide further information on the changes to the state organizations during the summer months.



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