The Miss America Organization, soon possibly known as “Miss America Opportunity,” recently found a new CEO who looks to bring the fun and glamour back to the scholarship competition.
Robin Ross-Fleming, a fashion and beauty business entrepreneur with a background in the Miss Florida and Miss California USA pageants, became the new “Chief Empowerment Officer” of the Miss America Organization. Fleming’s fashion history includes owning a gown shop in Florida and being a Senior Vice President at Pillsbury brand with experience in branding and licensing.
In a recent meeting with the Miss America state and local organization directors, there are a lot of notable potential changes coming to the competition in hopes to bring back the pizzazz that is the beauty of the pageant. It is important to note that these changes are not official, except for one big change.
Miss Capital City director Marni Lemons outlined the potential changes on a Miss America forum on Facebook.
One of the biggest changes coming to the competition is the raised age limit for the competition. Miss eligibility is now 18 to 28 years old. Teen eligibility remains the same from 13 to 18 years old.
Terminology, a big part of the Miss America 2.0 rebrand, is also getting a facelift. After the rebrand, ladies competing in the pageant were referred to as “candidates.” Now, they are back to being referred to as “delegates” or “contestants.” There is no official word on going back to referring to the competition as a “pageant,” however, the word is still lightly used anyway. Also, though they are outstanding young women, the word “Outstanding” will be removed from the teen titles. Instead of “Miss America’s Outstanding Teen” it will now be “Miss America’s Teen.”
The fitness portion of the competition, something currently for the Teens, is coming to the Miss contestants, too. This seems to replace the swimsuit portion for something a little more focused on health and wellness. The fitness portion is said to be a partnership with the American Heart Association.
Moving on to the former “platform” part of the competition, the “social impact initiative” is proposed to be called the “service initiative.” The portion of the competition where candidates talk about their statement onstage will now be the first 30 seconds of their private interview.
One of the fan-favorite parts of the competition, the talent, will also be more inclusive for those who don’t have a performing arts background. If a candidate is not open to a performance, per se, they may choose to conduct a speech similar to a “Ted Talk” as their talent.
The Miss America competition will be held in January 2024 with the Teen competition being held in the summer.
A notable controversial change coming to the competition is the reference to going back to “AFAB” candidates only. This rule was bent to allow for its first transgender woman winner Miss Greater Derry, Brían Nguyen. A handful of candidates also identify as non-binary. There is a possibility this rule could change to be more inclusive, but they are looking into all legal opinions. Current trans and non-binary candidates are still able to compete.
The most glamorous part of the change is that Miss America will have a car and condo in Palm Beach. As Miss America has a lot of traveling to do throughout the year, it’s imperative that she has a home base.
These are some of the major proposed changes coming to the popular competition. Some other lesser things include a shortened candidate contract, which is currently about 30 pages.
Official changes will be announced on the Miss America website.