Miss Teen USA Takes New Direction with Swimsuit Competition

29 Jun

Miss Teen USA celebrates young women who lead active, purposeful lives and encourage those in their communities to do the same.

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USAToday.com – One of America’s most storied beauty pageants just got a modern update.

The swimsuit portion has always been a staple of the competitions, both big and small. But in a society that increasingly prioritizes feminism and equality, watching women parade across a stage in bikinis can feel outdated .

In response, the Miss Universe organization made a decisive move this week, announcing that the Miss Teen USA pageant will no longer include the swimsuit portion. Instead, the 51 women (from the 50 states plus D.C.) will be judged in a brand-new athletic wear competition.

Pageant organizers have long said swimsuit portions were intended to show off the athleticism of the competitors. But Miss Teen USA’s transition to athletic wear reads as less exploitative and more focused on the importance of physical fitness for its younger participants, mirroring the rise of athleisure with the demographic that Miss Teen USA is aimed towards and populated by.

“I have been an athlete my entire life. As a member of a softball team and a competitive dance team, I spend a lot of time in athletic wear,” says Katherine Haik, the reigning Miss Teen USA.

“This new direction for Miss Teen USA is a great way to celebrate the active lives that so many young women lead and set a strong example for our peers.”

Read more about our exciting new direction.

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