Should teenage girls really be judged on how they look in a bikini? Probably not. At last, Miss Teen USA’s swimsuit competition is coming to an end and being replaced for athletic wear.
The change, which will take place at the upcoming July 30 pageant, was made in an effort to empower young women with active lifestyles.
“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,” said Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization. “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.”
Reigning Miss Teen USA Katherine Haik, who is an avid softball player, dancer, and athlete, took to Instagram donning a sports bra, leggings, and sneakers to mark the switch to athleisure.
“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,” she said in a statement.
While Shugart said the organization is “committed to continuing to evolve in ways that celebrate women’s strength, confidence, and beauty for years to come,” there are no current plans in place to remove the controversial swimsuit competition from Miss Universe and Miss USA.
The new competition may still be focused on judging these young women based on their looks in their outfits rather than their strength and endurance, but hey, it’s definitely progress!