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Miss Teen USA axes ‘outdated’ bikini competition with sportswear

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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a society that increasingly prioritises feminism and equality, watching women parade across a stage in bikinis can feel outdated”.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.

AFP

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Bakar-Eid being celebrated

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POKHARA — The Muslim people people are celebrating their grand festival, Bakar Eid, with much fanfare today.

The festival which is to be continued for three days from today is also known as ‘Eid-Ul-Juha’. The Muslim community considers this as a festival of devotion.

Ali Miya Literary Foundation, Pokhara Chairperson and religious preacher Hanif Miya informed that the festival marked the beginning with the recitation of Islam scripture Nawaz at Idgaha of Pokhara in the early morning today.

The Muslim people who are almost 10,000 in number in Pokhara alone are marking the festival with much excitement, he added.

The Muslims visit the mosques, offer prayers to Allah, perform the Namaj prayers and exchange greetings each others on the occasion.

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