Miss America has something of a stereotypical reputation for being a beauty contest. 

However, since Gretchen Carlson took over the  board for the organisation, it has been hoped that she will take the competition in a more respectful and serious direction. 

Ms Carlson was the Miss America winner in 1989, and is a vocal activist for women's rights. 

She announced this week that the first step to bringing the competition up to date will be to get rid of their swimsuit section.


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'We are no longer a pageant, we are a competition,' she told Good Morning America. 

'We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance, and that means that we will no longer have a swimsuit competition and that is official.'

'We will no longer be judging women when they come out in their chosen attire. Whatever they chose to do, it will be what comes out of their mouth that we're interested in.'

Speaking on what women will be represented in the contest, she continued: 

'We are interested in what makes you, you.'

'At the end of the day, we hand out scholarships to these women, we want more women to know that they are welcome in this organisation.'

However, not all viewers of Miss America were thrilled with the change. 

'Miss America can be intelligent, healthy and beautiful, so why are we so ashamed in celebrating the beauty as a society nowadays?' commented one fan. 'Now its setting a bad example to women that they can only be one. Be proud of your beauty and healthy body and intelligence, we can do it all . Not a fan of this change it goes against women empowerment.'

'Bye bye ratings. Another example of "political correctness" making things worse not better,' said another. 

Others supported the change, commenting: 'Today ushers in a new era… where women don't need to wear their swimsuits on television to be recognised as leaders, as philanthropists, as role models.'

Others are accusing the move as being reactionary to the email scandal which rocked the pageant last December. 

At the time, it was discovered that the former chief executive Sam Haskell had made misogynistic comments about former winners.