Kristin Lessard & Steve Kelly

Kristin Lessard & Steve Kelly

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Miss America Cans Swimsuit Competition

(Photo: Getty Images)

There are big changes coming to the Miss America competition.

Contestants will no longer compete in the swimsuit portion of the Miss America Organization event, Gretchen Carlson, chair of the Board of Trustees announced Tuesday morning.

"We are no longer a pageant, we are a competition,” Carlson said on Good Morning America. “We will no longer judge candidates on their outward physical appearance.”

Carlson, who was named Miss America in 1989, also explained the evening gown section of the competition would be updated to allow contestants to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable, not traditional evening wear.

“It’s going to be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in when they talk about their social impact initiatives,” Carlson said. 

The former Fox & Friends co-host settled a lawsuit against ousted Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes for accusations of sexual harassment in 2016 and has since become an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement. 

"I could have never expected what would happen when I sued my former employer at Fox News for sexual harassment 22 months ago, but look what has happened," Carlson said. “Thousands of women have been inspired to know they could stand up and speak up and their voices will be heard.”

The changes to Miss America will help the organization be more "inclusive and transparent," Carlson said. "I want to inspire thousands of young people across this country to come and be a part of our program."

The Miss America Competition will air Sunday, September 9th at 9:00 PM EST on ABC.

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