I honestly think that the women that participate in events like Miss Teen USA are huge badasses, partially because, as Kacey Musgraves put it, I’m someone who is definitely not pageant material. They make getting onstage in front of the entire country and managing to look perfectly composed while answering questions totally breezy, their talents always amaze me, and let’s face it — the girls look awesome in bikinis. There is no greater nightmare I’d picture for myself than being stripped down to that little clothing and forced to parade around in front of the entire damn country, so for that alone, I admire the women who are brave enough to do it with a smile on their face.
I don’t think the swimwear portion of the competition is inherently wrong, although the idea that it’s supposed to showcase “athleticism” is a thinly veiled excuse for what we really know is just a great way to draw in shallow viewers across America. For the events where everyone is over 18, fine — but in Miss Teen USA, contestants are between the ages of 15 and 19, which just makes the whole swimwear portion of the evening really fucking creepy.
The idea that any weirdo could be ogling a 16-year-old, AKA someone not even old enough to consent to sex, makes me want to vom. And if the swimwear portion was really supposed to judge athleticism, I think there are probably plenty of other ways to showcase a woman’s strength and physical prowess that don’t involve her walking around in a bikini that would fall off as soon as she actually attempted to do anything physical in it at all. And as it turns out, I’m not the only one who thinks that way.
For the first time ever, the Miss Universe organization has announced that the Miss Teen USA pageant is getting rid of the swimwear competition entirely. Instead, the contestants will be judged while wearing athletic-wear. Many of the contestants have been athletes or at least involved in athletic pursuits, like ballet or tap dancing, for most of their lives, so finally, they’ll be asked to showcase their athleticism in something that they might actually wear to do something active.
For everyone complaining about the loss of the swimwear competition (AKA creepy guys across America) Miss Teen USA is as of now the only pageant to cut it from the program, so you can still get your fix from the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants if it means that much to you. Considering athletic wear involves staples like yoga pants and sports bras, I assume the contestants’ bodies will still be hugely on display.
Props to you for always making it look easy, ladies. .
[via USA Today]
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