Former Miss Pennsylvania 'Excited' About Miss America Pageant Eliminating Swimsuit Competition

Attorney Victoria Kush was crowned Miss Pennsylvania back in 2004

Melinda Roeder
June 05, 2018 - 5:18 pm

Deanna Meredith


PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA)  - A major change in the Miss America pageant is sparking controversy Tuesday.  Pageant officials have decided to eliminate the swimsuit competition. 

Victoria Kush was crowned Miss Pennsylvania back in 2004.  She won her swimsuit competition.  But now she's a Pittsburgh-based attorney and says her perspective on the pageant has changed.

Kush tells Ellis Cannon on KDKA Radio, “Well I have to say this is progress and I’m tremendously excited about this,” said Kush. “It’s perpetuated the objectification of women more than it has empowered them."

Since its beginnings in New Jersey during the 1920's, The Miss America pageant has been known for beachside beauties after all

“It really began as a bathing suit competition in a way but since that time has completely evolved over the many decades of its existence.”

While has sparked some debate, Kush says she supports it.

“When I competed, I was never feeling like I was being judged or objectified.  I worked hard to achieve a high level of fitness, and it was my body; it was my choice.  But, despite that, it has always been a stumbling block to the true message of the organization:  to empower and provide scholarships to women.”

She says the pageant is moving in the right direction now - with a renewed focus on scholarship, service, and talent. 

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