The Miss America pageant has announced that it is doing away with its swimsuit competition. Further, the Miss America contest “will no longer judge contestants based on their looks.”
“Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul,” [Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America Organization] said. “That’s what we’re judging them on now.”
It should make for riveting television.
Actually, this announcement is not a surprise. The Miss America pageant has been going downhill ever since it started taking itself seriously as a scholarship contest. There is nothing wrong with a scholarship competition, of course, but the National Merit people don’t expect an audience to tune in and watch. The Miss America people confirmed that the last nail is in the coffin by saying that their event is “no longer a pageant.”
Miss America follows in the footsteps of Miss World. In 2013, the Miss World finale was held in Bali, Indonesia. In response to terrorist threats, the pageant canceled the swimsuit portion of the competition. To the astonishment of many, the Miss World people decided to make the swimsuit ban permanent the following year. I don’t think Miss World has been heard of since.
Where can fans of pageantry go? There are still a number of traditional pageants around the world, but by far the biggest is Miss Universe, the American version of which is Miss USA. As is happens, the Miss USA finale was just a couple of weeks ago. Sarah Rose Summers, Miss Nebraska, won:
Who kept the flame of pulchritude alive at Miss Universe and Miss USA while political correctness was raging all around? That’s right: Donald J. Trump. He had to sell his interest in the pageants as the presidential campaign heated up in 2015, but still deserves credit for his stewardship. Beauty pageants: just one more traditional industry saved by Donald Trump!
STEVE adds: Personally, the great Miss America Swimsuit Coverup scandal won’t affect me, as I’ve always followed the swimsuit portion of Miss America on radio to preserve my objectivity while we’re objectifying. . .
But if they require women to cover up burka-like at the gun range . . .