Physical appearance will reportedly no longer be a determining factor for Miss America contestants: The pageant will no longer feature a swimsuit or evening gown competition, in hopes of being more inclusive of women of all sizes.
Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, made the announcement on Good Morning America on Tuesday, CNN reports.
“We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” she said.
Instead of a swimsuit contest, contestants will participate in a live interactive session with the judges. “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,” Carlson said.
In addition, contestants will have the opportunity to wear whatever they want in place of the evening gown and will discuss how they would advance their social-impact initiatives during this portion.
The #MeToo is a contributing factor to these changes, Carlson added.
“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,” Carlson said.
The organization is receiving tons of positive feedback after posting a short video to Twitter of a bikini disappearing into a puff of smoke with the hashtag #ByebyeBikini.