Summary of “What Will the Miss America Pageant Look Like in a Post-#MeToo World?”

Started in 1921 as a “Bathing beauty” contest meant to extend Atlantic City’s summer season, the Miss America pageant added a talent portion in 1935 and began offering scholarships in 1945.
Through the 1960s, more than 60 million people regularly tuned in to watch Miss America walk the runway to Bert Parks crooning, “There she is, your ideal.” But by 1995, Frank Deford, a four-time judge who wrote a book about the pageant, told the New York Times it had become a “Kind of” pageant, as in: “You’re kind of good-looking. You’re kind of talented. You’re kind of smart. If you were superior at any of these things, you wouldn’t need to bother with this.” Last year, only 5.3 million watched Mund win.
In 1970, the number of women who competed in local, state, and national Miss America pageants was around 70,000.
The answer came last June 5, when Gretchen Carlson, the new chairman of the board and the first former Miss America to serve in that role, appeared on Good Morning America.
As Miss America in 1989-something Carlson had pursued while on leave from Stanford because when her mom mentioned it, she “Felt the familiar tingle of that competitive drive”-she’d gotten a frontline view into the particular conundrum of being an American woman.
Her experiences as Miss America also piqued her interest in broadcast journalism, and afterward, she built a career in that field, starting at a local station in Virginia and working her way up to Fox News, where she stayed for 11 years.
After Carlson’s GMA appearance, Piers Morgan declared in the Daily Mail, “Nobody on the entire planet cares what comes out of the mouths of Miss America contestants unless they say something so dumb it makes us laugh out loud. They’re there because they’re smoking hot.”
“We have to remember this is the Miss America competition,” says Betty Cantrell, Miss America 2016.

The orginal article.