Miss America turns 100. Will she last another 100 years?

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FILE – Contestants in the first Miss America pageant line up for the judges in Atlantic City, N.J., in September 1921. The competition is marking its 100th anniversary on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, having managed to maintain a complicated spot in American culture with a questionable relevancy. (AP Photo/File)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — As Miss America turns 100, a major question remains unanswered: Is she still relevant?

The competition is marking its 100th anniversary on Thursday, having managed to maintain a complicated spot in American culture.

While viewership has dropped since its 1960s heyday and the event is moving from broadcast television to streaming, Miss America enthusiasts contend the ritual is here to stay.

FILE – Virginia’s Camille Schrier, left, walks the stage after winning the Miss America competition at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., Dec. 19, 2019. The Miss America competition is marking its 100th anniversary on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, managing to maintain a complicated spot in American culture. With viewership down, the event now held at the Mohegan Sun casino in southeastern Connecticut, is moving from broadcast television to NBC’s streaming Peacock service this year. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The competition has undergone an at times painful evolution, criticized for its lack of diversity. An expert describes Miss America as in “a bind because as it tries to progress, it not only loses its original identity but becomes less entertaining to the people who like to watch it.”

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