Miss Teen USA may have just raised the bar in the pageant world. Hoping to bring a bit more “class” to the controversial swimsuit portion of the pageant, Miss Teen USA is swapping swimsuits for athletic wear. The NY Times reported, Michael Antinoro, the head of original content at IMG, said the recent changes in policy offers a “healthier lifestyle”, highlighting one’s overall wellness and beauty. IMG bought the Miss Universe Organization last year from Donald Trump, however, there have been no immediate plans to remove the bikini showcase for adult women.
Why the Change
Many have often found the bikini portion of Teen Miss USA controversial, highlighting, that with the age of the contestants and the revealing nature of the contest, it crosses ethical lines when it comes to underage women. But regardless of the controversy, the bikini competition has been a staple in the pageant. IMG plans to change the tradition, at least for the teen competitors, offering an alternative to showcase their physique through “active wear” while still offering a clear representation of their physical well being without revealing skin, giving the competitors more confidence and the competition more class.
Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, reflects on the change stating, “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.“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.”
What do People Think
The announcement came with mixed reviews as participants, viewers, and, of course, social media weighed in on the recent decision. Celebrities such as Ellen Oh posted on her Tumblr account saying, “YES! In a major step, Miss Teen USA gets rid of its swimsuit competition.”
Others were against the change, citing that the organization was bowing to political correctness with commentators such as Joe Machi, stand-up comedian, tweeting, “Miss Teen USA is eliminating their swim suit portion of the contest which should make judges and viewers feel less creepy.”
Regardless of your stance on the decision, this upcoming pageant will certainly have a different feel to it. However, some are hoping that this move will encourage a series of events to bring back the original integrity of the pageant.
Future of Miss USA Bikini’s
No doubt, one of the biggest concerns regarding the Miss Universe Organization removing the Teen Bikini lineup is if they have any plans on reworking the adult version of the pageant. While the team admits that they have no immediate plans to eliminate the swimsuit portion of the adult competition, one can only wonder how much impact the teen version will have on all future pageants. If the teen competition can still offer sexy curves with class, then it’s not out of the question that IMG may consider moving the policy across all competition platforms. But as it stands today, you can still catch a glimpse of your favorite Miss Universe in their eye-catching swimsuit in the upcoming competition. And even though the organization has made headlines in recent news for the change, there’s still plenty of potential re-branding the company has to offer the newly acquired business. Now that Trump is out of the equation, we can expect to see a different type of beauty pageant industry, starting with scratching the bikinis.