Although this change does not apply to all franchises, it is still a step forward.
On Wednesday, The Miss Universe Organization announced that it will drop the swimsuit competition for the next Miss Teen USA contest, a staple of beauty pageants for almost 100 years.
This step makes sense given that the public purpose of the competition is to provide money for scholarships and to highlight young women leading an active and purposeful life.
Then, considering that the participants age is between 14 and 19, this in itself makes you think: There was a swimsuit competition?!
There is a degree of discomfort that a woman has, regardless of age, when they climb on a stage in a swimsuit to let a jury and many millions of other people take a good look.
And did this stage of the competition ever proven anything? It was widely accepted because that was how these competitions were held since they first appeared in 1921.
Even if in most competitions in which participants are men, the emphasis is on the way their body looks, Miss America insist that their goal is education, female empowerment and sisterhood…
So Miss Teen USA replaces the swimsuit competition with an athletic-wear competition.
In 2014, Miss World dropped the swimsuit portion, largely out of respect for contestants from countries where such things are frowned upon.
“It’s not just a beauty contest, it’s ‘beauty with a purpose’. There didn’t seem to be a purpose to have the swimsuit,” said Chris Wilmer, the national director of Miss World America/Miss United States organization.
As for the more grownup installments of the franchise, the swimsuits stay for now.
“For Miss Universe and Miss USA, that’s a very important part of the competition and will continue to be an important part of the competition,” said Michael Antinoro, head of original content at IMG, which bought the Miss Universe Organization from Donald Trump last year.
Is this the first step towards a complete change in the way we think about beauty? Leave a comment bellow.