After nearly 100 years the competition many years ago in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a bathing beauty contest designed to keep tourists coming to the seaside resort in the weekend after Labor Day.
Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who is head of the organization’s board of trustees, made the announcement Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”
“We’re not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you,” she said.
Carlson, whose sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes led to his departure, said the board has heard from potential contestants saying, “We don’t want to be out there in high heels and swimsuits.”
“Guess what?” she said. “You don’t have to anymore.”
Carlson said that viewers are more interested in the talent portion of the program than the swimsuit edition.