Local pageant winner says Miss America changes are 'about time'

Joe Galli interviewing Emma Faye Rudkin. (SBG San Antonio photo)(SBG San Antonio photo)

SAN ANTONIO -- On Tuesday, the Miss America Organization has made some big changes and a local pageant winner says it’s about time.

The Miss America Pageant will no longer have a swimsuit competition and the pageant will be more open to women with different body types.

Emma Faye Rudkin won Miss San Antonio in 2015 and 2017.

Miss America will no longer judge contestants on their appearance

She’s the first deaf woman to win that competition.

Rudkin said changes like this can help open the doors for more people with disabilities.

“It needs to be less about what you see on the surface and see on the stage and more about the person. The swimsuit portion of Miss America contestants spend all this time and energy getting ready for that portion and it's not even part of the job description,” said Rudkin.

Rudkin says now contestants will have more time to focus on more important issues and charity work.

Three years ago, Rudkin founded Aid the Silent, an organization that helps deaf children.

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