Bikinis to Body Positivity: Sprinting Past Pageant Stereotypes
Miss Teen USA will be ditching her bikini for active gear.
Recently, the Miss Universe organization announced that its Miss Teen USA competition would no longer include a swimsuit portion of the event. Instead, contestants will now compete in an athletic-wear event, where the focus shifts to a celebration of women's strength and confidence – encouraging women to lead an active lifestyle, rather than focusing on how good they look at the beach.
The shift comes at a time when the cultural conversation around women's bodies is at full-tilt, and phrases like “body positivity" and “fat shaming" are more ubiquitous than they've ever been.
Many media publications and major brands are actively focused on shifting the conversations and imagery associated with women's bodies, focusing on messages of inclusiveness and empowerment, and the celebration of an active lifestyle.
This larger cultural shift is clearly catching up to even traditions that seem inherently antithetical to the shift, with organizations like Miss Universe and publications like Sports Illustrated jumping on board.
With a longstanding tradition like the “swimsuit competition" being axed in favor of running shorts and yoga pants, the changing conversation around women's bodies (along with the booming business of activewear) continue to sprint forward.