Miss Teen USA Drops Swimsuit Competition

Moving forward, contestants will be judged in athletic wear

Last Updated: June 29, 2016 @ 9:44 AM

The Miss Teen USA pageant is eliminating the swimsuit portion of its competition, opting to judge contestants in athletic wear instead, a spokesperson for the organization told TheWrap.

The transition to athletic wear will focus more on the physical fitness of the contestants, something the swimsuit portion was supposed to show off.

“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,” said Katherine Haik, the current Miss Teen USA.

Miss Universe president Paul Shugart said in a statement to TheWrap that this transition was initiated to “celebrate women’s strength, confidence and beauty.”

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

This year’s Miss Teen USA competition will stream live from Las Vegas on July 30 at 7 p.m. PT on the organization’s website.

Read the entire statement below.

Dear State Directors,

We are looking forward to seeing all of you at the 2016 MISS TEEN USA® Competition in Las Vegas. This year has brought many positive changes and opportunities for The Miss Universe Organization and our success would not be possible without your hard work and support.

From launching new digital initiatives including audience voting for the MISS UNIVERSE® and MISS USA® telecasts via our new Miss U app and the #FindingMiss52 nationwide search for a 52nd Miss USA contestant to introducing original content that tells a more holistic, year-round story of the more than 10,000 incredible women we work with each year, we’re excited about the changes we’ve made thus far and are committed to continuing to evolve in ways that celebrate women’s strength, confidence and beauty for years to come.

To that end, we’ve decided to introduce athletic wear in place of swimsuits in our MISS TEEN USA® competitions moving forward. 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.

Thank you for helping to create these new opportunities for women across the country. The Miss Universe Organization would not be where it is today without you.