This year’s Miss America has officially been crowned in one of the most talked up competitions in history! Representing New York, Nia Imani Franklin won Miss America 2019 and praised the organization for dropping the swimsuit competition.

According to the AP, after Nia Imani Franklin won Miss America 2019 she stated in her interview that:

“These changes, I think, will be great for our organization.”

“I’ve already seen so many young women reaching out to me personally as Miss New York asking how they can get involved because I think they feel more empowered that they don’t have to do things such as walk in a swimsuit for a scholarship.”

“And I’m happy that I didn’t have to do so to win this title tonight because I’m more than just that. And all these women onstage are more than just that.”

The changes were announced earlier this year by Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989, and chair of the Miss America Association.

Carlson told the public that she aimed to change the public’s view of the Miss America event, turning it from a pageant into a competition that correctly represented the women participating. Miss America offers scholarships and prizes to talented and smart contestants, so getting rid of the swimsuit competition was a no-brainer.

“We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be part of your program, but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,'” Carlson said on GMA at the time. “So, guess what? You don’t have to do that anymore.”

In addition to this year’s winner celebrating women’s empowerment, Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma, used her time on stage to bring attention to the Flint water crisis. Using the intro segment, Sioma faced the camera and stated: “From the state with 84 percent of the U.S. freshwater but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma.”

This year’s swimsuit competition was replaced by an interview portion, where the women talked about their accomplishments, interests, and future goals.

Watch Franklin’s interview below:

Yelena Mandenberg is a staff writer at Grit Daily with a passion for news of all sorts. A Brooklyn, New York native, she is living with cat + tortoise. IG: ymand123