Megyn Kelly wants the Miss America swimsuit competition reinstated, and she wants it reinstated now.
The NBC talk show host had a lot to say on her show Monday about the organization doing away with its traditional swimsuit competition, questioning whether Miss America's leadership would be able to survive the backlash for the controversial decision. "The reality is, no one is going to want to watch the pageant [without the swimsuit portion]," Kelly said.
Zerlina Maxwell, a guest panelist for the segment, staunchly disagreed with her host, arguing that doing away with pageants altogether may be the best option. Beauty pageants are "antiquated," Maxwell said, and people should be more concerned with what's inside women's "brains, not whether or not they have abs."
Kelly agreed that a woman's character is important, but argued that one's conduct and one's beauty need not be "mutually exclusive." She added that she finds it inspirational to see fit women, and disagreed that the swimsuit portion of the competition is mere objectification "if the woman wants it." When Maxwell pointed out that no one's obituary lauds their "great abs," Kelly joked, "I hope mine does!"
In June, the Miss America Organization announced it would eliminate the swimsuit competition for the first time in its 96-year history. Miss America chairwoman and Kelly's former Fox News colleague Gretchen Carlson spearheaded the initiative, saying that in order to move forward with our current "cultural revolution," the competition must step away from its origins as a swimsuit pageant to focus on the talent and interview portions.
Watch the discussion on Kelly's show below. Amari Pollard