Miss America pageant drops swimsuit competition

The next edition of the Miss America pageant will scrap swimsuits and will be more inclusive to women of all sizes, the contest announced Tuesday.

Gretchen Carlson, the chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, announced on "Good Morning America" that the event will no longer feature a swimsuit portion.

Miss America will be a competition, not a pageant, Carlson said on the show Tuesday.

"We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge," she said.

Carlson also said the new Miss America competition will be more inclusive to women of "all shapes and sizes."

The official Miss America Twitter account tweeted a short video of a white bikini going up in a puff of smoke with the hashtag #byebyebikini.

It's not the only change coming

But the elimination of swimsuits isn't the only change coming to the 97-year-old event. The evening gown competition is being revamped as well. Carlson said contestants will be able to wear "whatever they choose."

The big changes to Miss America had been expected since the Miss America organization is now being led entirely by women for the first time.

Just last month Regina Hopper was appointed president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, and Marjorie Vincent-Tripp was named as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Foundation. They joined Carlson, who was named chairwoman in December.

The female trio takes over for the leaders of the Miss America Organization who resigned in December after the Huffington Post revealed that leaders and employees had sent emails disparaging pageant contestants, including references to their weight and sex lives.

A new era for the organization

In the statement announcing the new leaders, Miss America said the all-female team signaled a new era for the organization, best known for its widely televised pageants.

In another first, all three leaders are former pageant winners in the Miss America system.

Hopper, former CEO of Intelligent Transportation Society of America, was Miss Arkansas 1983. Vincent-Tripp, an assistant attorney general at the Florida Office of the Attorney General, was Miss America 1991. Finally, Gretchen Carlson, the advocate and former Fox News host, was Miss America 1989.

The next Miss America competition is September 9 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.