Business as usual for Miss Idaho competition, swimsuits included

NAMPA, Idaho - The Miss America Organization will drop the swimsuit competition starting this September, but the contestants in the Miss Idaho competition won't see a change, yet. 

The Miss Idaho competition is this week in Nampa, with finals Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at the Nampa Civic Center. 

"We will have the standard competitions for Miss America which will be swimsuit, evening gown, talent and then an onstage question," Miss Idaho Executive Director Christi van Ravenhorst said. 

The decision is a reflection of changing times, but van Ravenhorst says the goals of the Miss America and Miss Idaho organizations have not changed.

"The 1940s is when they awarded their first scholarship, and now it's the leading provider of scholarship for women," van Ravenhorst said. "It's about social impact, what women can do in the community, none of those things have changed."

Miss Idaho 2018 Taylor Lance said she's sad to see the end of the swimsuit competition.

"Swimsuit was my favorite part of competition," Lance said. "I'm a health and wellness coach, so, to me, health is a huge value and a huge part of who I am."

van Ravenhorst said with conservative populations in Idaho, eliminating swimsuit might open the competition to more women. 

"There are a lot of regions where, because of religious beliefs, [women] don't feel comfortable competing in swimsuit and yet are extremely talented, are exceptionally involved in their community and have such a great social impact," she said. "It opens it up to them to be able to compete and make a difference in Idaho and earn scholarship money." 

Changes to the Miss Idaho competition will take effect at the local and state level next year.

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