Why are Some Beauty Pageants Replacing the Swimsuit Competition?

Swimsuits have long been a common occurrence of beauty pageants. It began in the 1940s when Catalina, a popular swimwear company, decided to market their product line during beauty competitions, the first pageant being the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.  Since that time, Catalina promoted its swimwear through other pageants such as Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe.

In 2016, it was announced that Miss Teen USA would no longer include the swimsuit competition in its pageants.  For years, there has been an increased diversity among the contestants, from the first African American contestant to the first Deaf contestant.  The contestants of Miss Teen USA will now compete in athletic wear.  But why the change?

It seems that Miss Teen USA prefers to focus on the importance of physical fitness of their young contestants, rather than the showmanship of the swimwear.  Athletic wear will give the girls, ages 15-19, a chance to commemorate their active lives instead of their figures, which is a great example to their peers. “This positive transition comes from a need to observe not only the power of women, but their self-assurance, self-confidence, and beauty in more positive ways”, says Steve Mayes, National Director of National American Miss Pageant, another “natural” beauty competition that excludes swimsuits.

The peers of Miss Teen USA need to see these inspirational young women as empowered, active, strong, productive, and confident.   It’s no doubt that more parents of young women will now be more likely to allow their daughter to compete in a beauty competition. It’s a great opportunity for these women to embrace their physical strengths and health and wellness, instead of their outward appearance.

It’s no secret that some people overlook the positive aspect of the active wear.  Instead of focusing on the teens’ fitness, they would prefer the sex appeal portion of the competition.  Yes, these girls work hard and are proud of their bodies, and would prefer to show them off; however, many girls agree with the switch and think it’s about time that their overall well-being is being taken into account.


Categories: Fashion

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