By Mirabella Booth
To be taken seriously, to be seen as an intelligent woman of substance, women shouldn’t wear swimsuits in public, get to shine on the stage in a gorgeous evening gown, or enjoy their moment in the spotlight. Those things aren’t done by intelligent women of substance. At least that’s what the Miss America Organization believes.
This past year candidates were no longer judged on outward appearance. This meant the elimination of the swimsuit competition. This year the pageant has ditched the gown segment as well. Miss America 2020 will consist of a personal interview, on-stage interview, talent, and social impact pitch.
The pageant’s new format strips the historical aspects of the 98-year organization. Miss America is no longer a pageant, which it is recognized as, it is a glorified talent show. While pageants are infamous for degrading women based on outward appearance, Miss America has evolved as women in society have evolved. The Miss America pageant is an opportunity for women to showcase their confidence, education, accomplishments, and aspirations, for scholarship.
These changes show young girls and women that they can’t be both. They can’t have beauty and brains.Women don’t need to be stripped of their femininity to be taken seriously and seen as intelligent.
It's very unfortunate for the women who have worked hard to earn their place as a state titleholder to compete in the Miss America pageant. Those who dreamt of walking on the stage in a gorgeous gown, won’t have the opportunity. What’s next? Taking away the crown and sash? If they are going to strip the pageant of every aspect that makes it a pageant then they shouldn’t be making these changes under the name and legacy that is Miss America.