The Competition

The Competition Evolves

Miss America has a 100-year history of looking ahead. Its very inception as a “bathing beauty review” was an act of rebellion at a time when women weren’t allowed to wear swimsuits in public. In 1945, we started awarding scholarships to the winner instead of prize money, making Miss America one of the first organizations in the United States to offer college scholarships to women. In the 80s, we officially made advocacy for important social causes a pillar of the program, helping to raise awareness and millions of dollars for countless issues.

Continued Progress

Miss America continues to evolve to better serve the women in our program and the communities in which they live.  In 2018, we made the long-overdue announcement that candidates would no longer be judged on their outward physical appearance. That meant the elimination of the swimsuit competition, allowing additional time and focus on the candidates’ stories, goals, and achievements.

Throughout the competition and in interviews, candidates have the opportunity to connect with the panelists, advocate for their social impact initiatives, and demonstrate how they are uniquely qualified for the exciting and challenging 365-day job of being Miss America.

Today, we’ve expanded our programs for women to include professional development, career advancement, and mentorship. We continue to build on the legacy started a century ago, helping to educate and prepare thousands of women in our country to pursue their goals.

Preparing for the stage…
and beyond

So much happens behind the scenes. Candidates engage in an exciting range of leadership activities that include executive and communications workshops, branding and media coaching. These women join an incredible network of former winners who are leaders and mentors in every field—from government to medicine, business to the military, journalism and education to the arts. It’s an exciting time. And the bonds created between candidates lead to lifelong friendships.

Confidence. Community. Choice.

Join our member network to earn scholarships, meet friends and mentors, get access to professional development events, and compete in the Miss America program.