But the 24-year-old pharmacy student says she never would have participated in the competition if it weren't for a pivotal rule change last year.
Schrier told People she used to struggle with an eating disorder and "chose not to compete" in Miss America until the competition got rid of the swimsuit competition.
“I think that a lot of women in our world really struggle with body image and have had things that might qualify as an eating disorder and they might not even recognize it," she said in the article published Friday. "And as someone who has struggled with body image and body positivity throughout my life, I didn’t ever want to put myself in a situation to be judged on my body."
Schrier, who is in the doctor of pharmacy program at Virginia Commonwealth University, added, “I don’t think that the number of abs I have necessarily defined how healthy I am."
After the Miss America organization was rocked by a 2017 email scandal that led to the resignations of its top leaders, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson became the organization's chairwoman. Under her leadership, the organization decided to eliminate the swimsuit portion and allow contestants to wear outfits other than gowns during the evening wear competition. (Carlson stepped down as chairwoman in June.)
Miss America devotees were divided about the change, but Schrier said it allowed her to demonstrate other aspects of herself.
“I think that being able to focus more on what I have to offer with my confidence and my public speaking and my intelligence is a lot more meaningful to me, and something that I wanted to focus on,” she said. “And so I just chose not to compete until that was gone.”
According to Mayo Clinic, disordered eating involves persistent eating behaviors that negatively impact health, emotions and other parts of life. Some complications can be life-threatening.
The most common eating disorders, Mayo Clinic says, are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Treatment usually involves the help of primary care providers, mental health professionals and dietitians.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Helpline (800-931-2237) or text NEDA to 741741.
Contributing: Maeve McDermott
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier reveals past eating disorder