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Miss Teen USA ditches 'iconic bikini round' after 34 years

Katherine Haik, Miss Teen USA 2015

The Miss Teen USA pageant will no longer feature a swimsuit competition for contestants ‘celebrate women’s strength and confidence’.

From swimwear to athletic wear


 Pageant reveals famous swimsuit round will be removed from competition as of 2016, instead of swimsuit 51 contestants from the 50 states including DC will instead wear athletic attire. Organizers announced the said change on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe pageant said, “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.”

Miss Teen USA 2000 contestants during the swimsuit round

The Miss Teen USA pageant which was founded in 1983 and  is run by the Miss Universe organization for girls aged 14-19. Unlike its sister pageants Miss Universe and Miss USA, which are broadcast on Fox, this pageant is webcast on the Miss Teen USA website and simulcast on Microsoft's Xbox Live service.

As reported by USA Today, reigning  Miss Teen USA, 15-year-old Katherine Haik, said that since she's a member of a softball team and a dance team she spend a lot of time wearing an athletic attire.

“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.”

Miss Teen USA 2015 Katherine Haik in her swimsuit during the Miss Teen USA 2015 swimsuit competition

It seems that change is coming with the new owner of the Miss Universe pageant since the organization has shifted to WME-IMG, the talent agency who purchased the pageant from Donald Trump in September last year.

The Miss Teen USA 2016 pageant will be on July 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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