The Miss America competition is going to look a little different come September.
That’s because new chairwoman of the organization and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson announced last week that the competition will not longer include its long-held swimsuit portion, according to Allure.
“We are no longer a pageant, we are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” Carlson said in her Good Morning America announcement. “That means that we will no longer have a swimsuit competition and that is official.”
But that’s not the only change coming to the competition; Allure reports that its evening gown portion will no longer focus on what the contestants are wearing, but instead will gauge “what comes out of their mouth,” according to Carlson.
As if these changes aren’t major enough, there may still be more on the horizon. When Carlson was asked during her initial announcement whether the new and improved competition will include a more diverse size range, she answered in a positive way.
“We are interested in what makes you you,” she said, according to Allure. “At the end of the day, we hand out scholarships to these women. We want more women to know that they are welcome in this organization.”
Halima Aden is only 19 years old, but that doesn’t mean she can’t slay like the big-time models. Judging by her new cover for Allure magazine, Aden did just fine — and even made history in the process.
According to HuffPost, after “becoming the first Miss Minnesota contestant to compete in a hijab and burkini in November 2016,” Aden earned another first, this time becoming the first cover star for Allure to wear a hijab.
But this isn’t the only history the young model has made thus far: HuffPost reports that Aden “became Vogue’s first hijab-wearing model in June and walked the Yeezy show in February,” only just beginning to cement her place in the fore of the American beauty and fashion industries.
Posing in a Nike hijab and a red, white and blue hoodie, Aden’s gorgeous cover photo for Allure is accompanied by the headline “This Is American Beauty.” HuffPost explains that while the magazine intend to make a political statement with Aden’s photos, the spread comes at a time when the public forum is filled with talk of travel bans and hate crimes directed toward Muslims.
For Aden herself, HuffPost says the model shared with Allure that wearing the hijab shields her from negative comments about her looks.
“‘I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against ‘You’re too skinny,’ ‘You’re too thick,’ ‘Look at her hips,’ ‘Look at her thigh gap.'”
To learn more about Aden and see her Allure photo spread, click here.