Miss America pageant ending its swimsuit competition

The Miss America pageant will no longer feature a swimsuit competition, ending a tradition widely criticized as misogynistic as the event tries to move toward more inclusion.

“We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge. And that means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition,” Gretchen Carlson, the new chair of the Miss America Organization, announced Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Miss America, Carlson added, will be a “competition,” not a “pageant,” and will strive to change its public perception by emphasizing its role in providing scholarships to young women and honoring talent.

“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,’” Carlson said. “So guess what? You don’t have to do that anymore. You’re welcome. Please come join us.”

Carlson, a former Fox News host who won Miss America in 1989, has become a prominent advocate against sexual harassment since settling a lawsuit against executives at the cable news giant in 2016.

See photos from the most recent Miss America:

23 PHOTOS
Miss America 2018
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Miss America 2018
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund reacts after being announced as the winner of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Contestants await the results after competing in the swimsuit component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund competes in the talent component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Pennsylvania Katie Scheckengast advances from the swimsuit component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Georgia Alyssa Beasley advances from the swimsuit component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Contestants await the results after competing in the swimsuit component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Alabama Jessica Procter advances from the swimsuit component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel competes in the swimsuit competition of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss South Carolina Suzi Roberts competes in the swimsuit competition of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Alaska Angelina Klapperich competes in the swimsuit competition of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Pennsylvania Katie Scheckengast competes in the swimsuit competition of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis competes in the swimsuit competition of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Louisiana Laryssa Bonacquisti competes in the swimsuit competition of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund competes in the talent component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Virginia Cecili Weber competes in the talent component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss Louisiana Laryssa Bonacquisti competes in the talent component of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund competes in the evening gown component of the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
(L) Miss North Dakota Cara Mund reacts after being announced as the winner of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Contestants compete in the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey competes in the talent component of the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
(R) Miss North Dakota Cara Mund reacts after being announced as the winner of the 97th Miss America Competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Fellow contestants await to congratulate Miss North Dakota Cara Mund who won the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund reacts after being announced as the winner of the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela
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Miss America has undergone a major overhaul in response to the Me Too movement. Carlson became chair after emails uncovered last year revealed sexist and misogynistic comments among its leadership. The competition’s leadership teams now all are headed by women, including former Miss America winners.

The organization also will overhaul the evening gown portion of the contest, according to Carlson.

Neither the swimsuit nor the gown competitions were the highest-rated parts of the program, Carlson said, and the changes got little resistance within the organization.

Miss America, she added, hopes “to be open, transparent, inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before.” 

The changes will go into effect for this year’s contest, scheduled for Sept. 9.

See photos of Gretchen Carlson:

31 PHOTOS
Gretchen Carlson through the years
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Gretchen Carlson through the years

Gretchen Carlson

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Miss America At Spireclub -- Miss America Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson plays Billiars In one of the rooms in the new club which offer many activities. With her showing how to shoot, is James. Stewart, Marketing agent for Pire club. September 15, 1988.

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/New York Post Archives/(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)

Debbye Turner, Miss America 1990, Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004, and Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989

(Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Gretchen Carlson attends private screening: 'Memoirs of a Geisha' at Sony Screening Room on November 22, 2005 in New York City.

(Photo by Scott Rudd/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

John Voight, left, visits with anchors of 'Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson.

(Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

John Edward, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade visit 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX Studios on October 5, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Miss America 1989 and Fox News Channel co-host Gretchen Carlson is introduced at the 2010 Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 30, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Planet Hollywood)

Demi Lovato, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Clayton Morris visit 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX studios on August 18, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Ali Landry (C) poses for a photo with 'FOX & Friends' Co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy outside the FOX studios on September 9, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Elmo and host Gretchen Carlson visits 'FOX & Friends' at the FOX Studios on November 18, 2010 in New York City.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

'Fox & Friends' co-anchor Gretchen Carlson and Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan attend 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on January 17, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Miss America 1989 and Fox News Channel co-host Gretchen Carlson introduces pageant judges during the 2011 Miss America Pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 15, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Cookbook authors brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen visit FOX & Friends and talk to host Gretchen Carlson, at FOX & Friends at FOX Studios on April 20, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Host Steve Doocy, vocalist Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down and host Gretchen Carlson pose for photos during a taping of 'FOX and Friends' outside of FOX Studios on July 29, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/WireImage)

'FOX & Friends' hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade greet the crowd during a taping of 'FOX & Friends' at FOX Studios on July 15, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Cookbook authors brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen visit FOX & Friends and talk to host Gretchen Carlson, at FOX & Friends at FOX Studios on April 20, 2011 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Host Gretchen Carlson and Craig Morgan speak during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series at FOX Studios on July 13, 2012 in New York City.

(Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)

Gretchen Carlson is the guest co-hoston 'The View.'

(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) 

Professional tennis double players and 2012 olympic gold medalists, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan chat and play table tennis with 'FOX & Friends' hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade live on 'FOX & Friends' at FOX Studios on August 23, 2012 in New York City.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series outside of FOX Studios on July 19, 2013 in New York City.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, John Lynch and The cast of 'Duck Dynasty' Si Robertson, Jep Robertson and Willie Robertson visit 'Fox And Friends' at Fox News Studios on September 9, 2013 in New York City.

(Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson speaks onstage during a 'Fireside Chat on Persecuted' panel at Variety's Purpose: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit in association with Rogers And Cowan at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on June 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

Journalist Gretchen Carlson attends 'Persecuted' screening at Lighthouse International Theater on July 18, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson speaks onstage during a 'Fireside Chat on Persecuted' at Variety's Purpose: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit in association with Rogers And Cowan at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on June 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

THE VIEW

Mindy Kaling and Gretchen Carlson were the guests, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 on ABC's 'The View.' '

(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)

Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson attends the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for dcp)

Gretchen Carlson, Debra Shriver and Danielle Weisberg attend Hearst Chief Content Officer Joanna Coles Hosts the Hearst 100 Luncheon at Michael's on December 12, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Gretchen Carlson arrives for the Hearst 100 Luncheon at Michael's on December 12, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Gretchen Carlson attends Women at the Top: Female Empowerment in Media Panel at the 2016 Greenwich International Film Festival on June 12, 2016 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for GIFF)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) TV commentator/author Gretchen Carlson visits Insight at SiriusXM Studios on April 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: (L-R) Editor-in-Chief of New York Magazine Adam Moss, Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping Jane Francisco, News anchor Gretchen Carlson, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief of the Meredith Parents Network Liz Vaccariello, and Editor-in-Chief of People Magazine Jess Cagle attend the American Magazine Media Conference 2017 on February 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for American Magazine Media Conference)
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  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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