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Every Question You've Had About the Miss America Pageant Answered



Get ready to fix your crown because the 2019 Miss America pageant is upon us! The iconic competition is in its 97th year, and 51 women have their spray tans and hairspray ready as they're about to hit the stage for the live show on Sept. 9 airing on ABC. 

Though this nearly 100-year-old beauty competition has been a staple in American television for generations, many people still have unanswered questions regarding the pageant. Well, don't fret and ruin your makeup because we've got you covered. 

 Find out below the answers to a few of your burning questions.

 How much does Miss America make? 

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Besides the bejeweled crown, Miss America actually does indeed make a pretty nice salary. The winner of the coveted title wins a $50,000 scholarship, but don't worry, first, second, third, and fourth runner-up don't walk away empty-handed. They each respectively receive $25,000,$20,000, $15,000, and $10,000 in scholarship money.

However, the the grand prize winner doesn't just win a nice scholarship payment. According to the Miss America Organization's Office & Public Relations Coordinator Chelsea Mineur, the winner also receives a six-figure salary that will be paid out over the course of the year. 

So, being judged by the the world on national television doesn't seem so bad ... right?

 Why can't Miss America be married? 

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It may come to a shock for many who are unfamiliar with this rule, but according to the guidelines, a contestant is not allowed to be married. Yes, in the 97 years since the initial competition, this rule has remained, but it was slightly tweaked.. 

Initially, contestants were not only not allowed to be married, the women competing were not to be divorced either. A rule change took place in 1999 that allowed for previously married contestants to be eligible. 

Well, it seems as though the committee has placed extra emphasis on the Miss in Miss America.  

 What is Miss America's job? 

According to the official Miss America website, the winner will be the face of the Miss America Organization. Therefore, her job is to "positively [advance] the goals and objectives of MAO as well as her own Social Impact Initiative." So, she is supposed to do more than just take pictures with a crown on her head. 

In a statement to Adweek, Gretchen Carlson, chair of the brand’s board of trustees, said: "Miss America is, at its heart, an organization that funds scholarships that allow young women to act on their dreams. It also gives them a very large megaphone to advocate for social causes that are important to them."

 What is Miss America not allowed to do?  

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So, you won the crown, and have probably been following a strict regimen. Unfortunately, Miss America's reign doesn't now allow her to be exempt from rules. For one year, the winner must make sure she follows the committee's guidelines. 

For one, the winner is not allowed to get pregnant during her year as queen. Another, posing nude is a BIG no-no. Most notably, 1984 winner Vanessa Williams was forced to relinquish her crown after naked photos of herself, which were published in Penthouse. 

With social media bigger than ever, contestants definitely have to be careful what they post online. Let's face it, their image is everything.

 What is Miss America replacing swimsuit with? 

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The namesake in the Miss America pageant was the swimsuit portion. However, in 2018 and the "Me-Too" movement circulating our culture, it was finally decided that maybe judging half-naked women on their bodies was a little too sexist. 

During an interview on Good Morning America Gretchen Carlson talked about the change, saying, "We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition. We will no longer judge candidates on their outward physical appearance." 

With a gap in the schedule, the contestants will now be able to talk about their "social impact initiative," according to Gretchen. 

Why is Miss America still a thing?

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Though many may be asking themselves why the (seemingly?) sexist pageant has been a tradition year after year, the Miss America committee is working to revive and make the necessary changes to get this show in the 21st century. Gretchen is making it known that Miss America is no longer a pageant since doing away with the swimsuit portion of the show. It is now to be considered a competition.

The message moving forward is that Miss America has been modernized, and it is a platform that women are able to empower one another and succeed as a woman in today's society.

 The 2019 Miss America competition will air on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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