Miss Teen USA will no longer feature the swimsuit edition of the pageant. Pageant promoters are trying to bring the event into modern times and let go of certain stigmas. Instead, the contestants will have an athleisure-inspired edition.
The 51 contestants, ages 15 to 19 years of age, will show off their assets wearing athletic wear instead of swimsuits. Pageant organizers had claimed the swimsuit part of the contestant was meant to show off their ladies’ athleticism. However, many folks didn’t believe the skimpy bikinis clearly communicated this stance.
Paula Shugart, the president of Miss Universe, said the decision is a reflection of the cultural shift in rejoicing the empowering of women who lead active lives and encourage people in their communities to also be active.
She said organizers hope the decision helps the pageant’s fans to recognize the women for the strong women they are.
Reigning Miss Teen USA Katherine Haik said she approves of the pageant’s decision. She said it’s a new way for Miss Teen USA to go – to celebrate women’s active lives who want to be an example.
Haik said she’d been an athlete for a long time. She was a member of a competitive dance team and played for a softball team. Haik said she spend a good chunk of her time in athletic clothes.
Miss Teen USA isn’t the first major pageant to toss out the bikini tradition. The Miss World pageant went with a beachwear round in 2014 to come across as a fashion competition, not just a bikini show.
The swimsuit round changes as well as the introduction of the first openly gay contestant and an army officer being crowned 2016 Miss USA is proof that the pageants are looking to become more modern so that they stay relevant.
The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant is set to air on July 30 in Las Vegas.