One of America’s top beauty pageants has axed its swimsuit competition, ditching bikinis for sportswear to fend off years of complaints that teenagers parading in bikinis are sexist and demeaning.
Miss Teen USA, open to women aged 14 to 19, said on its website that “in a society that increasingly prioritizes feminism and equality, watching women parade across a stage in bikinis can feel outdated.”
The Miss Universe Organization, which operates the pageant, said from now on contestants would be judged on athletic wear, in addition to the evening wear and personality competitions.
“Miss Teen USA’s transition to athletic wear reads as less exploitative and more focused on the importance of physical fitness for its younger participants,” it said. (AFP)