ATLANTIC CITY — Though Miss Utah understands why Miss America officials decided to remove the swimsuit portion of the competition, she’s still a little sad it’s gone.
After all, she credits the swimsuit competition for saving her from developing an eating disorder.
“Before I started competing, I didn’t have healthy habits. … Because of this competition, I was inspired to learn about nutrition and how to take care of myself,” said Jesse Craig, a University of Utah student who represented the Beehive State Sunday, as she vied for the role of Miss America during a year full of changes for the organization.
Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson announced in early June that the pageant would officially retire the swimsuit and evening gown competitions and morph into a competition based more on talent, intelligence and ideas rather than physical appearance.
Though Craig’s been involved with the Miss America organization for years, she said she’s never felt judged by her physical appearance and didn’t quite know what to expect as she prepared to compete for the first time on a national level.
Continue reading this piece by Liesl Nielsen at KSL.com.