Miss America Contest to Remove Swimsuit Portion

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. rebrand / riːˈbrænd / (v) – to give a product or an organization a new image

    Failing businesses need to rebrand.

  2. aspiration / ˌæs·pəˈreɪ·ʃən / (n) – a goal that someone wants to achieve

    Becoming a teacher is one of my aspirations in life.

  3. impending / ɪmˈpen·dɪŋ / (adj) – expected to happen soon

    I feel nervous about the impending exams.

  4. dismay / dɪsˈmeɪ / (n) – a feeling of disappointment

    Several fans expressed their dismay over the actor’s retirement.

  5. instill / ɪnˈstɪl / (v) – to gradually establish something (e.g. idea, attitude, feeling) in one’s mind

    My mother instilled in me the importance of saving money.


Read the text below.

The Miss America Organization will be removing the swimsuit portion from its annual beauty contest.

The organization’s chairperson, Gretchen Carlson, announced the decision last June. The move is a result of the organization’s attempt to rebrand its image from a beauty pageant to a competition. According to Carlson, contestants will no longer be judged based on their physical attributes. Instead, the competition plans to focus on the contestants’ intelligence, aspirations, and social advocacies.

An interactive session between the contestants and judges is expected to replace the swimsuit portion. This session will allow the contestants to share what being crowned Miss America means to them, as well as other personal insights.

The beauty contest’s viewership has been declining in recent years as viewers are no longer into live TV shows. But with the impending change, pageant experts expect an increase in the show’s ratings this year. This is because viewers are likely to be interested to see the effects of the contest’s change.

On a different note, the announcement garnered mixed reactions from supporters, former contestants, and titleholders. Some welcomed it, while others expressed their dismay.

Some former contestants and fans see the move as a sign of reform and freedom from the practice of judging women based on appearances. However, Miss Texas 2011 Kendall Morris is disappointed with Miss America’s decision. She asserted that the swimsuit portion instilled the value of discipline in her as it encouraged her to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Nonetheless, she appreciates the organization’s effort to continuously evolve.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How do you think the removal of the swimsuit portion will affect Miss America’s image?
• In your opinion, should other beauty pageants also remove the swimsuit portion? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, when does rebranding become necessary? Explain.
• What companies or organizations in your country do you think should rebrand their image? Discuss.