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Substance over style? The new Miss America tries for a makeover

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10:  Miss Georgia 2017 Alyssa Beasley participates in Swimsuit challenge during Miss America 2018 - Second Night of Preliminary Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena September 7, 2017 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions)
Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions
Miss Georgia 2017 Alyssa Beasley participates in Swimsuit challenge during Miss America 2018 - Second Night of Preliminary Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena September 7, 2017 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Miss America pageant is dropping the swimsuit competition, saying it will no longer judge contestants on their appearance but on “what makes you you.”

The Miss America pageant is dropping the swimsuit competition, saying it will no longer judge contestants on their appearance but on “what makes you you.”

The pageant began nearly 100 years ago as a bathing beauty contest to keep tourists coming to this seaside resort after Labor Day. But in recent decades, women’s groups and others have complained that making contestants parade across the stage in bathing suits and high heels is outdated, sexist and more than a little silly.

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

Wayne Parry, reporter for the Associated Press who has been following this story; he tweets

Kimberly Hamlin, associate professor of history and american studies at Miami University of Ohio; she is the author the article “Beauty Pageants and American Politics” in the publication Origins;  she tweets

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