The Miss Teen USA competition is saying buh-bye to its controversial swimsuit competition, starting with this year’s show. It’s about time!
Instead of wearing bathing suits, competitors will model athletic wear, pageant officials announced Wednesday. And they totally acknowledged that the swimsuit competition just feels a little…wrong. “The swimsuit portion has always been a staple of the competitions, both big and small,” they said on the competition’s website. “But in a society that increasingly prioritizes feminism and equality, watching women parade across a stage in bikinis can feel outdated.” Ya think?
Miss Universe president Paula Shugart told USA Today that the new athleisure competition is designed to “celebrate women’s strength, confidence, and beauty” in a more constructive way than, you know, throwing on a bikini.
“This decision reflects an important cultural shift we’re all celebrating that empowers women who lead active, purposeful lives and encourage those in their communities to do the same,” Shugart says. “Our hope is that this decision will help all of Miss Teen USA’s fans recognize these young women for the strong, inspiring individuals they are.”
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It’s worth pointing out that, as of now, the Miss USA and Miss Universe competitions will still have a swimsuit competition. But having teens model athletic wear over bathing suits onstage is definitely a move in the right direction.
This year’s Miss Teen USA pageant will be held in Las Vegas on July 30—sans bathing suits.
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