8 Notable Changes to the Miss America Competition

Since 1921, the Miss America competition has been an institution in the United States celebrating the inner and outer beauty of American women. The competition seeks to empower young women throughout the country and inspire them to go after their dreams. In the past, hallmarks of the contest included a swimsuit and evening gown competition that evaluated contestants strictly on their physical appeal.

However, with the changing times, the Miss American organization has chosen to reinvent itself for this year’s competition. With this aim in mind, the approaching 2018 Miss America competition marks a shift in the format and approach of the contest. In addition to showcasing the physical beauty of all of the participants, the 2018 competition seeks to celebrate the talent and intellectual gifts of contestants. Discover below the important changes for contest and how it will reinvent what it means to be crowned Miss America.

Change in the Approach


The Miss America contest is no longer considered a “pageant”. Instead it is now referred to as the “ Miss America Competition”. This subtle change reflects the objective of the institution to stress other attributes of the participants outside of their physical beauty and traditional metrics related to an evening gown and swimsuit competition. Contestants now will compete in terms of their talent, scholarship, vision, skills and commitment to their community.

Talent Matters


Given the de-emphasis placed on looks and physical beauty, the competition will place greater weight on the talents and skills of contestants. No longer will the most physically appealing candidate advance. Contestants will have to impress the judges with talents and skills. Look for contestants to wow you in unexpected ways in terms of musical and performance abilities and beyond.

More Time Communicating with the Judges


Along the lines of focusing on talents and skills, contestants now will spend more time communicating with the judges about their vision for the future. They will share the experiences and perspective they have accumulated and how they believe they will apply them to positively impact the world. The most successful contestants will be able to convey their vision and achievements with great persuasiveness in order to move on to the next rounds of the competition.

Community Involvement


The judges will be evaluating the role of each contestant in shaping their community in the past and what they envision for the future. This year’s Miss America will be a pillar in her community and demonstrate a strong commitment to forging a difference for her community and beyond in the future. Look for candidates who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and engage themselves completely in non-profit organizations and grass- roots efforts to bolster their communities.



The emphasis on community extends to scholarship as well. This year’s candidates will demonstrate a commitment to education and learning and will need to prove to the judges that they are life-long learners in their efforts to shape the future of their communities. Furthermore, the scholarship program sponsored by the Miss America organization will be promoted. The best contestants will impress equally with their minds and physical beauty.

Change in Looks


While all of the contestants in the Miss America competition certainly feature physical beauty, the judges no longer will make this the defining element of the competition. As discussed, the emphasis on community, scholarship and talent reflect a shift in the approach of the competition. You can expect to see beautiful young women as in years past, but the contests will possess equal if not greater inner beauty stemming from their mind, vision for the future, and character.


Given the reduction in the importance of physical looks and beauty, the 2018 Miss America contest will not feature an evening gown competition. Instead, contestants will wear outfits they feel comfortable in and best express their inner selves. Look for the creativity and individual expression of contestant to shine and surprise you with unique outfits that are certain to inspire.

No Longer a Swimsuit Competition


Echoing the rationale behind not including an evening gown competition, the Miss America organization will not include a swimsuit component in 2018. The absence of this previous aspect of the contest offers contestants an opportunity to share more of their thinking and vision of the future in terms of community and education.

Ultimately, the changes to the 2018 Miss America competition promises to celebrate the very best in American women with the prospect of inspiring new generations of young women to strive for and achieve great things. No longer strictly a celebration of physical beauty, the Miss America competition has reinvented itself to spotlight the talents, skill, vision and community awareness of the next generation of American women.