“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,” the organization said in a statement.
With movements such as #likegirl, which is an ad campaign to encourage and inspire young girls to play sports, and others promoting women’s strength, this move by the organization seems like a positive one. For years, the swimsuit competition has been a point of contention.
Hunter Hall from Fleet Feet in Brentwood shared his thoughts on the new announcement.
“We think that it’s great that Miss Teen USA is continuing to follow the trend of Athleisure. Most women and even some men are starting to wear athletic clothing a majority of the time and this will be a great opportunity to showcase the newest looks from top brands like Nike, Oiselle, Lole and more.”
Julianne Hough, creative producer for Miss USA’s pageants including Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, said they could consider retiring the swimsuit for both competitions, reported USA Today.
“There’s definitely some work I think still to be done, that’s where we’ve been talking with the producers,” she said about the pageant’s swimsuit portion. “In the next few years we may grow from that, but let’s see where this year goes.”
Hough added that the Miss Universe organization would refocus its pageants on health and wellness. “They’ve talked about different ideas for that aspect of the competition…being confident in the fact you worked hard to get that body and you go to the gym and you eat healthy and do certain things,” she said.
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