Beauty pageant world reacts to Miss America competition changes

CINCINNATI -- Angela Rivers knows all about beauty pageants. She's been crowned in more than a dozen. 

With news earlier this week about updates coming to the Miss America pageant, including the elimination of the swimsuit competition, Rivers said she's happy to see the changes, and she hopes it will allow more young women to see themselves on the big stage.

"It gives them a bigger, broader aspect to actually be able to be in a pageant and be accepted for not only what they look like, what they have to offer, their community service," Rivers said. 

Rivers is also the regional director for American Beauties pageant. She said eliminating the swimsuits is "a big deal," but it's actually a trend that's been going on in the world of pageants. 

While the crown is the ultimate prize in most beauty pageants, a lot of times it's the work behind it that gets the win. According to Rivers, the crown is not simply a piece of jewelry.

"There are a lot of women who enter these pageants who actually go out and feed the homeless," Rivers said. "And they do haircuts for love."

As for Rivers, she said she's always had an anti-bullying platform when she competed because she was bullied as a child. 

"In our pageants, we discuss that and we appreciate people who actually do community service," she said.

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