Press release from ABC, June 5, 2018:
The board of trustees of the Miss America Organization announced today groundbreaking changes for the “The 2019 Miss America Competition,” effective this September, by declaring that the 51 women representing their home states and the District of Columbia will no longer be judged on outward physical appearance. “The 2019 Miss America Competition” airs live on ABC, SUNDAY, SEPT. 9 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), from Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk Hall.
This change in format signals the end of the swimsuit portion of the competition. In its place, each candidate will participate in a live interactive session with the judges, where she will highlight her achievements and goals in life, and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.
The former evening gown competition will now give participants the freedom to outwardly express their self-confidence in evening attire of their choosing while discussing how they will advance their social impact initiatives. Talent, which has always been a distinguishing element of Miss America, will remain a highlight of the competition.
“We are no longer a pageant. Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment,” said Gretchen Carlson, chair of the board of trustees. “We’re experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues. Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”
The job of Miss America is a 365-day a year commitment of serving as an empowerment and leadership mentor. In addition to gaining scholarships to further her education, Miss America will advocate for social issues important to her. In addition to this work, Miss America also serves as an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network and the city of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Miss America’s new mission statement is: ‘to prepare great women for the world and to prepare the world for great women,'” said Regina Hopper, president & CEO. “We want more young women to see this program as a platform upon which they can advance their desire to make a real difference and to provide them with the necessary skills and resources for them to succeed in any career path they choose.”