Hot on the heels of Formula One ditching pit girls, the Miss America competition is ditching bikinis.

They will no longer be judged on what they look like in a swimsuit. The feminist makeover of the pageant is partially due to the new chair of Miss America, Gretchen Carlson (a former pageant winner herself) who is taking the helm and will now oversee an all female management team.

In a tweet she announced "bye-kini" making the point that swimsuits would be scrapped to make way for… souls.

Yep, that's right, souls. Instead of ranking women on how they look, she said "Judges will now rank women on who you are as a person, from the inside of your soul."


How a judge is getting to the inside of a woman's soul in a few brief minutes from stage is beyond me, but that's not the only change. The evening gown section is also being dropped, instead contestants can wear clothes that make them feel "confident".

Is that a power suit with shoulder pads or trackies and socks? I don't know, I guess it depends on your interpretation.

The main thrust of the new boss's point is that swimsuits and heels are no longer on the menu. Who decided for us, unilaterally, that women don't want to wear swimsuits and heels? That doesn't matter I guess, someone did and seemingly we are all now part of the collective of women who decide things for all of us.

But this contest still has "Miss" in the title. Maybe that's next year's challenge.

What I'm saying is, personally, I'd rather die than parade round in my togs and heels in front of a row of judges, but that's just me. I'm not presumptuous enough to assume that all women think the same as me.

It reminds me of the scantily clad grid girls debate. They were scuttled after women called them out saying their outfits were sexist and the role demeaning. That conveniently overlooked the fact that actually many pit girls liked their job and their outfits, and weren't too keen on the feminazi speaking on their behalf and pushing for the cancellation of their jobs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for empowerment and evolution and few would probably argue against changes being made to beauty contests, but to grab the #MeToo banner and use it as a flag to wave in a new era of souls over swimsuits seems a bit of a stretch, given the organisation.

To be frank, a contest which pits women against each other vying for a sparkly crown and the title of "Miss" Anything doesn't really scream empowerment to me.


But with professional darts axing walk-on girls, Formula One scrapping grid girls, Miss America surely in this new world order has seen the writing on the wall, no matter how beautiful the inside of their souls are.