NBC12 Viewpoint: New Miss America competition is here

By: Kym Grinnage - email

If you are looking for swim suits and evening gowns you won't find them at The Miss America Competition.

Last week a major change was announced by the Miss America Organization. Gretchen Carlson, the new chair of the Miss America Organization Board of Trustees, made the announcement: "We are no longer a pageant; we are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition."

She went on to say, "We're no longer judging women when they come out in their chosen attire - their evening wear, (or) whatever they choose to do. It's gonna be what comes out of their mouth that we're interested in, when they talk about their social impact initiatives."

Carlson was crowned Miss America in 1989 and she said that this was a board decision. Well, I say "Amen to that."

Of course, there will be much debate on both sides about whether this is a good decision or not, but there shouldn't be any debate about the intention of the board's decision and that is to open up the competition to more young women who would otherwise not be interested.

The Miss America Organizations says that it has heard from many young woman, who have said that they wanted to be part of the program, but they didn't want to wear heels and swimsuits.

I commend Gretchen Carlson on her leadership and for being a great example for young people. The message is loud and clear: everyone is welcome!