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Miss America chair Gretchen Carlson announces that the competition will no longer judge women on their looks, and has scrapped the swimsuit round.
The judges, it is claimed, will not be placing any emphasis on the physical appearances of the women who compete. This is with a view to making women feel more empowered.
Furthermore, the section that involves the women wearing evening gowns will also be eliminated from the competition. Rather than wearing the gowns the participants will be asked to choose an outfit that makes them feel confident in themselves and expresses their personal style.
Miss America has announced that it has has partnered with IGNITE, a company whose aim is encouraging young women to engage in current issues and aspire to become the political leaders of the future.
While the decision to remove the swimsuit and evening gown sections of the competition has been widely praised, some critics have expressed that the event still needs to make a bigger effort to become more inclusive and diverse by featuring women with a greater variety of body shapes and sizes.