I now find it impossible to keep quiet on the recent core-shaking events pertaining to the Miss America Organization. As a Miss America follower for years who’s contemplated participating on many occasions, yet could never quite get on board with the program, keeping up with the email scandal and its repercussions have me more hopeful than ever for the organization and a necessary reconsideration of how the organization’s objectives are carried out.
As a brief recap, in the final days of 2017, emails exchanged between now former MAO CEO Sam Haskell and fellow colleagues containing degrading, lewd comments about past Miss Americas surfaced for the world to read. Haskell has since resigned, and the MAO board is now comprised of nearly all past Miss Americas; Miss A 1988, prominent news anchor and fellow Minnesotan, Gretchen Carlson, heads it as Chairwoman. This reorg is unquestionably the silver lining to the misfortune, which we can safely say was a blessing in disguise for MAO.
“I have so many great ideas for this organization,” Carlson shared in an interview yesterday with ABC News when asked if the swimsuit competition is outdated. “Changes are coming… Potentially big changes” await MAO and while divulging no details, Carlson’s leadership and commitment to empowering women promises a bigger, brighter future for the organization. The Miss America Organization is now a token to the bigger conversation in our nation, #MeToo, and holds uncapped potential to evolve into something greater, serve as something more.
My inner pageant fan girl is doing backflips in anticipation of the coming changes and what the modern Miss America and Miss America competition will look like in 2018 and beyond. Reconsideration of what the swimsuit competition looks like? Scorecard points redistribution? Prepared speeches? Maybe that’s just my wish list! The possibilities are endless, and I’m dying to know what the great Miss A minds conceive. I’ve never written off the organization, but it also hasn’t been a top-of-the-mind subject either. Needless to say, my fellow Minnesotan has me and the rest of the pageant world staying very tuned to see what’s next. It could be a game-changer for many—including me.