Good News: Miss Teen USA Swaps Bikinis for Athleisure
Without beauty pageants, we wouldn’t have “Miss Congeniality.” So, I do give them credit for that—but not much more.
That is, until last week when the Miss Universe Organization announced that the Miss Teen USA competition would eliminate the swimwear competition and integrate an athletic wear competition.
Sure, this switch doesn’t fix the many issues inherently wrong with pageants—after all, it’s still focused on how the contestants look in the outfits—but it signals a conscious effort to move away from the more exploitative practices (like parading young women around on stage in bikinis for the sake of having their bodies judged) of the pageant.
It gives hope that maybe there’s a movement toward healthy and powerful bodies rather than just skinny ones, toward what someone can do rather than how that person looks.
Do you know what else it signals?
Athleisure continues to soar in popularity, and it's here to stay.
I know, I know. Every time I hear the word, I say, “athleisure, athleisure, athleisure,” in my best Jan Brady voice, too. The term may be overused, but the elements are fundamental. End-users want style and comfort, and clients want everyday wear that gets repeated impressions. Athleisure is the melding of both.
And there is an unending market for the apparel. Just look at the success of brands like Nike, Under Armour and Lululemon. Or, think how many people you see wearing workout wear outside of the gym—or how often you do the same.
That’s part of what makes the Miss Teen USA switch not just a smart social change, but a savvy business one. Now the organization can take advantage of the booming athletic wear fashions with appropriate sponsorships. And, hey, if the organization's bottom line benefits, it could lead to similar shifts in other pageants, like Miss USA.
Are you taking full advantage of the fashion? It could be the smart and savvy decision for your organization, too!