Miss Teen USA BANS bikini comp in favour of surprising new look

Beauty pageants have long been a topic of conflict among women but when the contestants involved are aged under 18 the conversation gets a lot more heated.

In the last few years teen beauty pageants have come under increasing pressure to ditch the swimwear element of the competition mainly because it is now largely seen as a sexist, over-sexualised and a pretty demeaning platform on which to place young women.

Last month Miss Teen USA received widespread praise when it announced it would be banishing the bikini walk from its upcoming show and ever since people have been wondering what the controversial event would be replaced with.

Well, according USA Today, instead of wearing bikinis in this year’s pageant the Miss Teen USA hopefuls will be dressing to impress in custom-made sportswear.

Each competitor will wear one of eight themed sports bra and legging sets which will be designed by Tapout and Goldsheep to represent the region of the US the girls are from.  Once the finalists are chosen, they will then wear sports gear which will be customised to show which exact state they represent.

Apparently the switch to sportswear is in keeping with the original purpose of the swimwear competition which – according to Refinery 29 – was actually to demonstrate the participants’ athleticism.

Over 50 15 to 19-year-old hopefuls will take part in this year’s Miss Teen USA competition on July 30.