Publication date January 5, 2023

Miss America 2023 makes history by leaving behind its superficial roots!

Ever since its inception back in 1921, the annual Miss America has evolved into something more than just a beauty pageant, and Miss America 2023 was a testament to that. The beauty pageant features 51 contestants from the 50 U.S States and the District of Columbia. But the beauty pageant is more than just about beauty. The competition features an array of women from aspiring filmmakers to lawyers. And all the ladies take the stage with only one goal in mind to wow America. 

Miss America 2023

Source: Fox News

But Miss America 2023 has taken leaps in the field of inclusivity. How? The beauty pageant didn’t just represent diversity through its competitors but also through its hosts and judges. This year the judge’s panel had four female judges and one male African American NBA player. The judge's panel also featured Aparna Shewakramani, but she was not the only South Asian representation. The co-host of the competition was singer-songwriter Arianna Afsar. Although Miss America 2023 was not the first time someone of South Asian descent has been to the Miss America stage. Back in 2014, Nina Davuluri created history by being the first Indian-American to win the title of Miss America. 

Although Nina Davuluri made history in 2014, the beauty pageant standard was very different back in those days. One of the most popular segments of beauty pageants in the early days was the swimsuit competition. In the segment, women stood on stage wearing one-piece swimsuits or bikinis and competed against each other. All the contestants were judged based on their outward appearance. I know what you are thinking, the segment isn’t really empowering for women and the beauty pageant thought the same thing and that is why they said goodbye to this section. After this major change, it started advocating social issues and revamped its program to include a scholarship opportunity.

Miss America 2023 was also diverse in terms of the contestants all of whom came from different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, careers, and nationalities. The contestants of the beauty pageant also had different body types which I think is great for promoting body positivity. This is a huge leap forward from their legacy. Many criticized the Miss America beauty pageant for imposing beauty standards which were just unrealistic. This led many Miss America aspirants to focus only on their outward beauty rather than their true capabilities. But now it's a breath of fresh air to see the competition break its sexist superficial shackles.

From trotting around in a swimsuit on a stage in front of everyone to raising awareness about important issues, the Miss America competition has come a long way. On December 15, 2022, Miss Wisconsin Grace Stanke won Miss America 2023. As her reward, she got a $100,000 scholarship. But that is not all, Grace Stanke also got the opportunity of a year-long national tour to raise awareness about zero-carbon energy sources and nuclear power. As I said, it's a huge leap for the competition from their legacy. 

What are your thoughts about this massive change, comment down below.

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