NEW YORK — One of America’s top beauty pageants has axed its swimsuit competition — ditching bikinis for sportswear in a bid to fend off years of complaints that parading in a bikini is sexist and demeaning.
Reactions have been mixed, with some praising the announcement as a step forward, and others noting that both swimwear and sportswear competitions judge competitors on their physical appearance.
Miss Teen USA — open to women aged 14 to 19 — said on its website, “In a society that increasingly prioritises feminism and equality, watching women parade across a stage in bikinis can feel outdated”.
The Miss Universe Organisation, 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.
The reform was welcomed by reigning Miss Teen USA Katherine Haik, who called it, “a great way to celebrate the active lives that so many young women lead and set a strong example for our peers”.
The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant, to be broadcast online, will be held in Las Vegas on July 30.
Each year, a woman from each of the 50 states and one from Washington DC compete for the crown.
Miss Universe was for years owned by billionaire Republican White House candidate Donald Trump. He sold it last year to a talent-management group.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.