This week the Miss America Organization announced it would no longer include the swimsuit portion of the competition in the pageant. That decision marks the end of an era, given that Miss America orignally started as a swimsuit competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1921.
During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Nicole Kelly, who was Miss Iowa 2013 and is a current producer of the Miss Iowa competition. When she was crowned Miss Iowa, it was international news becuase she entered the pageant with a visible disability.
"I was born with one hand, and so when I went to the stage representing the world of disability, my body was in so much focus. If you add on top of it that I was then walking with a swimsuit, there was that much more judgment."
She says she applauds the decision to end the swimsuit portion of the contest, and the Miss Iowa pageant will follow suit. This year's contest, which takes place June 14 at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, will be the last Miss Iowa scholarship competition to include swimsuits.