The decision seems logical, considering the stated purpose of the contest is to award scholarship money and, as MTUSA just noted on Twitter, "[celebrate] young women who lead active, purposeful lives."
The practice was widely accepted because it's just the way that it's always been done, the first Miss America pageant in 1921 being advertised as a "bathers revue," but Miss America also used to require "that contestants must be of good health and of the white race." So, you know what? Change is good!
But there are many who never saw anything wrong with the swimsuit competition, which Miss Teen USA is replacing with an athletic-wear competition.
"Believe me, the swimsuit competition is not held because of measurements," Miss America Sharlene Wells told reporters in 1985 as her the end of her reign neared. "It's to show the physical fitness of the contestants."
"The swimsuit competition hasn't ever been about being sexy," former Miss USA Shanna Moakler told E! News today. "It's about showcasing your dedication to your health and fitness and how you exude confidence. These girls work hard."
"For Miss Universe and Miss USA, that's a very important part of the competition and will continue to be an important part of the competition," Michael Antinoro, head of original content at IMG, which bought the Miss Universe Organization from Donald Trump last year, told The New York Times.