You are here

Miss Teen USA Gives Its Swimsuit Competition the Boot

The Short of It

Bye bye, bikinis! Miss Teen USA is eliminating its swimsuit competition.

The Lowdown

It's true: After 33 years, the pageant is 86ing the swimwear competition and plans to let the contestants rock athletic wear instead. Hallelujah!

According to Miss Universe president Paula Shugart, the move is a sign of the times, and it's being made to celebrate women's strength and confidence in a modern way that's relevant to today's 15- to 19-year-old contestants and viewers.

"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," she wrote in a memo. "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."

More from News Break: 6 Genius Tips to Keep Kids Safe When You Get Separated in Crowds

We spoke to Miss New Jersey Olivia DeMattio to get her thoughts on the move. "I like that they're doing away with swimsuit for teens!" she told "Fifteen-year-olds shouldn't have to feel the pressure to have abs to win. I just wish for the girls' sake they announced this months ago instead of 20 days before they leave for competition. I'm sure these girls have been killing themselves in the gym and with expensive personal trainers for months now and may feel like it was all for nothing."

More from News Break: Farrah Abraham Gets Mom Shamed for 'Provocative' Pics of 7-Year-Old Daughter

Current Miss Teen USA, Katherine Haik, told Yahoo that she is also in support of the decision. "I have been an athlete my entire life," she explained. "As a member of a softball team and a competitive dance team, I spend a lot of time in athletic wear. 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."


More from News Break: Not Too Surprising: The Most Fun Summer Toys Are Also The Most Dangerous

The Upshot

I love this shift. As an admitted pageant watcher, I have never understood why having a six-pack was part of the price of entry. Switching to athletic wear promotes the idea that a strong, healthy body is beautiful. And that's a great message to send to our teens!

And, don't forget to like us on Facebook and Twitter