USA Today broke the story on an important development in the beauty and fashion world: Miss Teen USA will no longer feature a swimsuit competition. Instead, the 51 young women, who are from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, will be judged in the pageant’s first-ever athletic wear competition.
Reigning Miss Teen USA told USA Today, “I have been an athlete my entire life. 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.”
In a memo, Miss Universe president Paula Shugart wrote, “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. 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.”
Overall, the response to the move has been positive:
If you are complaining that Miss Teen USA removed the SWIMSUIT portion of their competition you’ve got some problems.
— Boredgeek (@boredgeek) June 30, 2016
Miss Teen USA is eliminating their swim suit portion of the contest which should make judges and viewers feel less creepy.
— Joe Machi (@joemachi) June 30, 2016
Sorry, but I’m not comfortable with my child sharing a bathroom with anyone upset about Miss Teen USA eliminating its swimsuit competition.
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) June 29, 2016
As a runner I’m So happy Miss Teen USA is eliminating swimsuit competition 4 athletic wear! Good move 4 teens self imagine & confidence!
— Areva Martin, Esq. (@ArevaMartin) June 29, 2016
That Miss Teen USA still had a swimsuit competition is all you need to know about how gross we still were as of yesterday.
— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) June 29, 2016
Other people argue that the move is not enough and that pageants shouldn’t exist at all. Take this popular tweet as an example of such a sentiment:
Miss Teen USA ended its swimsuit competition, claiming a more “modern approach.” Hey, want to be real modern? Don’t be a beauty pageant.
— Keating Thomas (@keatingthomas) June 29, 2016
Either way, at least it’s a step forward for feminism and equality for our daughters and girls everywhere.