And if there was any confusion-because ditching swimsuits and including women with a whole range of bodies doesn't preclude the show still being about beauty-Gretchen Carlson, chair of the Miss America board of directors, said on Good Morning America that "we will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance".
Miss America and swimsuits have been synonymous since 1921, when the first competition was held in Atlantic City in an effort to extend the summer vacation season with a beauty contest.
The 97-year-old competition is also discarding its evening gown section and asking contestants to wear clothes that make them feel confident.
"We are no longer a pageant".
Maybe Miss America is taking a page from the bra burners of the 1970s and reclaiming the practice as bikini burning - a very good throwback moment for 2018.
"So guess what, you don't have to do that anymore", she said.
Mallory Hytes Hagan, Miss America 2013, was a particular target of the emails, many of which ridiculed her weight gain after she won the title.
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"That's what we're judging them on now", she added.
Carlson said that the organization will also allow contestants to wear whatever they'd like during the evening gown segment of the show and that it will be more inclusive to women with bodies of "all shapes and sizes".
Leanza Cornett, Miss America 1993, supported the dropping of the swimsuit competition.
Instead, each contestant will take part in a "live interactive session with the judges, where she will highlight her achievements and goals in life, and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America", the Miss America Organization said. "People actually like the talent part of the competition".
Carlson has been a champion of the #MeToo movement combating sexual abuse and harassment by powerful men in business, entertainment and media. "I never thought I'd be the chairwoman of the Miss America Organization, but here I am and we're moving it forward and we're evolving in this cultural revolution".
Carlson said she is not anxious ratings for the nationally televised broadcast might suffer.
She added that organizers aren't concerned about the changes having an affect on TV ratings for the upcoming contest, which airs on September 9.