Will the Miss America pageant do away with the iconic swimsuit competition?
That’s the question some are asking after Gretchen Carlson spoke out for the first time since she was named the new chair of the Miss America Organization.
She was named to the role after her predecessor resigned after fat- and slut-shaming comments he made about some contestants came to light.
Carlson, who was crowned Miss America herself in 1989, has emerged as one of the nation’s most well-known crusaders against workplace sexual harassment after winning a $20 million settlement from her former employer, Fox News.
She sat down with Good Morning America‘s Amy Robach Friday. Robach was the runner-up to Miss Georgia in 1995.
Robach asked whether the notion of swimsuit-clad women being judged by their physical appearance is outdated.
“I plan to make this organization 100 percent about empowering women,” Carlson declared. “Changes are coming. Potentially big changes.”
Carlson took over as chair of the Miss America Organization on Jan. 1.
The swimsuit competition has long been a staple of the Miss America competition. In the 1980s, when Carlson competed, she had to wear a one-piece, but the attire has shown a lot more skin in recent years with bikinis and high heels.
“We will see if Gretchen wants to go back to a physical fitness competition or something else,” Robach told Inside Edition. “Personally, I would like to see [swimsuits] eliminated.”