The bikini contest is over, but the beauty pageant lives on

On Tuesday came the news that the oldest beauty pageant in America is no longer a beauty pageant. Nearly 100 years after the first Miss America contest took place in Atlantic City - back then, the ladies wore one-pieces closer to burkinis than bikinis - the organisation has said so long to the bathing suit competition.

"We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance," said Ms Gretchen Carlson, the chairman of the Miss America Organisation. Ms Carlson is the perfect person to lead Miss America through this transformation. She won the crown herself in 1988 and went on to a career at Fox News, where she laid the groundwork for the #MeToo movement, blowing the whistle on Roger Ailes long before there were headlines about Harvey Weinstein.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'The bikini contest is over, but the beauty pageant lives on'. Print Edition | Subscribe