Miss America Drops Swimsuit Competition, But Why Does It Still Exist at All?

The announcement that the Miss America contest will no longer have a swimsuit portion and that the evening wear portion will no longer require contestants to wear an evening gown has left me wondering why we even have a Miss America contest to begin with. Various groups have been protesting the competition essentially since its inception, and whatever they come up with for this year won’t bear even the slightest resemblance to the actual Miss America pageant. In fact, new pageant head Gretchen Carlson, who took over after last year’s e-mail scandal, said it was “no longer a pageant” on an appearance on Good Morning America to announce the changes.

This tweet from the current Miss America announced the change. The smoke is a metaphor the viewership of the pageant and the bikini represents for the widespread availability of internet porn in the early 2000’s that killed any last shred of interest anyone had in Miss America.

Carlson says that Miss America will focus on its role as a scholarship provider for young women, which, if you’re a fan of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, you know is total horseshit and that the organization gives out less than half a million dollars in scholarships a year. No, the reason the Miss America pageant exists is to sell bathing suits and gowns. It’s like a runway exhibition but the models have to answer basic civics questions and ride a unicycle so it seems less sexist.

Now, you may think I’m being flippant and sexist by minimizing beauty pageant contests to a stereotype of dumb bimbos with nothing worthwhile to say, but I’d like to remind you that the current Miss America head, former Miss America Gretchen Carlson, was an anchor on the Fox News program Fox and Friends on which she regularly complained about “The War on Christmas”. Here’s a clip of her own show, The Real Story, not realizing that The Daily Show was making fun of her.

And if that’s not enough proof that beauty pageants provide nothing of value to the world and are desperately trying to stay relevant, well, here’s a clip of Miss Teen South Carolina 2007 Caitlin Upton trying to answer a question about education.

I know what you’re saying right now, because just like your girlfriend, I’m a bit psychic.”Eric,” you’re asking, “without the Miss America contest, how will we give away all these scholarships?” Great question, dear reader. I recommend giving them away based on academic achievement. I know, it sounds radical, but if you gave scholarships to women who applied for them when they were still in high school and awarded them based on achievement and not on your ability to tell a judge why diseases are bad then maybe more than 1% of the scholarships you claim to give away would actually be used.

I just want to make it clear I’m not saying that Miss America is pointless without the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition; it was pointless long before it cut them. We have Instagram now, if thots want to get famous from wearing swimsuits and designer dresses, they can do it there. They can even get instant feedback from thirsty guys, although we don’t call social media commentators “judges.”

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