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Miss America abandons swimsuit segment of competition

There she is - fully clothed.

The Miss America Organization has announced it’s dispensing with the swimsuit portion of its annual competition.

“We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” board chairperson Gretchen Carlson announced on “Good Morning America” Tuesday morning. “That's huge. And that means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition."

She also stressed that the contest is a competition, not a pageant.

The changes are in effect as of September 9, the next time Miss America contenders take the stage in Atlantic City.

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The evening gown segment will be revamped, and the event will stress talent and individuality.

“We’re interested in what makes you you,” Carlson said.

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The annual Miss Georgia pageant, coming up next week in Columbus, will keep the swimsuit and evening gown portions as usual, said Cassie Myers, Miss Georgia Board of Trustees’ vice president/media. There will be 99 women from across the state competing for academic scholarship and the titles of Miss Georgia 2018 and Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen 2018, Myers said. The winners will represent Georgia at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City in September and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in Orlando in August, she said.

AJC reporter Amanda Coyne spoke with several contestants headed to the Miss Georgia competition. Miss Atlanta Brooke Doss reveals why the swimsuit portion of pageants once felt like a daunting challenge - but is now her favorite:

Miss Fulton County Chari Guzman shared what it’s like getting ready for the swimsuit and evening gown portions of pageants:

Carlson took over as chair of the national organization after scandal involving the Miss America organization’s former CEO and several board members erupted.

Leaked emails were uncovered by the Huffington Post showed former CEO Sam Haskell and various pageant executives making insulting or crude comments about contenders.

Carlson, herself a former Miss America, left her position as a Fox &Friends host and filed a sexual harassment suit against the network’s founder and CEO Roger Ailes.

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