The Miss America pageant as we know it is dead, killed by political correctness.

Miss America is dumping its swimsuit competition and the evening gown portion of the competition, and will no longer judge contestants on their physical appearance.

"We are no longer a pageant," Gretchen Carlson, the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said on ABC. "We are a competition."

The organization says rather than model bathing suits, contestants will participate in a live interactive session with the judges and will be asked to "demonstrate their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job of Miss America."

Instead of evening gowns, the gals will wear "attire that makes them feel confident and expresses their personal style." ABC reports the contestants will also discuss how they will advance their chosen causes, called "social impact initiatives" by the Miss America Organization.

Carlson, herself a former Miss America, tells ABC, "We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore."

The Miss America pageant first began in Atlantic City in 1921. It was a beauty contest. Period. There is nothing wrong with a beauty pageant.

The changes reflect the efforts of the progressive left to force everyone to see things they way they do. It's kind of like the recent Scouts fiasco. Just as with the Scouts, the changes in the Miss America Pageant will usher in its demise sooner rather than later.

What a shame.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 


More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420