Miss America drops the swimsuit

Lost in the fuss over the G7 and Singapore summits was the other big news of the week, that the Miss America pageant had decided to eliminate that portion of the competition that had the contestants posing in swimsuits, which apparently now consists exclusively of skimpy bikinis. This has given media the chance to run photographs of women in bikinis with double-entendre headlines like the one above. So I thought, why not me too?

The evening gown portion of the competition has also been eliminated but that has received far less publicity because photos of people in evening gowns has nowhere near the same titillation quotient.

The reason given by the organizers for eliminating the swimsuit part is because they no longer want to judge people on their physical appearance but instead on their “passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job”.

That’s great. But even if physical appearance remained a factor, there is still a good argument to be made for eliminating the swimsuit portion because as far as I can tell from the above photo, every contestant seems to have the identical body shape. What is the point of having a competition category that does not discriminate between the contestants? Or are there fine distinctions that the untrained eye like mine cannot detect?

One other point is that I believe the winner of Miss America then goes on to compete in a world competition, Miss World or Miss Universe or something. Will that competition also eliminate the swimsuit portion? And since Donald Trump used to be involved with one of those competitions, when can we expect angry tweets from him about a change that he would clearly dislike?


  1. Quirky says

    I am interesting in seeing the drop in audience levels and advertising revenues.
    Who wants to bet that this will not be overturned after a season or two?
    “….are there fine distinctions that the untrained eye like mine cannot detect?”
    After this many years you haven’t yet trained you eye?

  2. Friendly says

    Miss America doesn’t go on to compete in a global setting. Miss USA competes to be Miss Universe, America’s Miss World competes to be Miss World, Miss U.S. International competes to be Miss International, and Miss Earth United States competes to be Miss Earth.

  3. drken says

    Mano, the swimsuit competition isn’t about comparing body types, it’s about conforming to a standardized one. IMHO, getting rid of the swimsuits is just the last desperate gasp of an outmoded institution. Talent shows are a dime a dozen and nobody cares about the interview unless somebody messes up really badly. As such, ratings are down and the name of Miss America is now as obscure as the heavyweight boxing champion’s (also an outmoded institution). It’s kind of sad to watch Miss America try to conform to a world that to it’s credit, has already left its primary function (rating women like show dogs) behind. Quite frankly, there are better sources of images of women in bikinis that include every shape and type than the Miss America pageant, I can’t imagine it’ll be missed, even by aficionados of women in bikinis.

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