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The Miss Universe organization is taking an active stand to showcase women in an empowering light by eliminating the swimsuit portion of the Miss Teen USA competition.

Toni Akindele
Jun, 30, 2016

This week the Miss Universe organization has announced that it will be replacing the swimsuit competition in the Miss USA pageant with athletic wear.

“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,” reigning Miss Teen USA, Katherine Haik told USA Today.

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“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,” wrote Miss Universe president Paula Shugart in a memo. “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.”

The overall response to the new change has been positive as people feel this is a step in the right direction for the pageant industry. Pageant organizers have long claimed that the swimsuit portion of the competition was meant to demonstrate the “athleticism” of the competitors. Many feel athleisure is a more appropriate alternative for teen participants aged 15-19.

The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant will be held in Las Vegas July 30.

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