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How Miss Teen USA is taking on a major cultural shift

The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant, airing July 30th, will look a little different this year. It has been decided that the bikini section of the contest will be replaced with something new.

In a report provided to BuzzFeed from Miss Universe President Paula Shugart, she explained that the 2016 Miss Teen USA contest will replace the bikinis with athletic wear. Paula said this is because of an "important cultural shift." 

According to Paula, the hope is to empower girls who strive to "lead active, purposeful lives and encourage those in their communities to do the same." The goal is for the young women competing to be seen as inspirations for all of the fans. 

Current Miss Teen USA, Katherine Haik, took to Instagram to celebrate the switch, posting a picture of herself in workout gear. She says she's a softball player, athlete and dancer, who uses athleisure often and that this new path is a great way to commend active, healthy lives. 

The organization will continue making changes as needed in the future, Shugart says, and that Miss Teen USA is "committed to continuing to evolve in ways that celebrate women's strength, confidence and beauty for years to come." 

What do you think about this switch? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Katherine Haik

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by Hayley Anderson | 7/1/2016