I didn't mind the swimsuit competition when I was in pageants. But it was used to body shame us.
I used to shrug off the feminists who made a big deal about the swimsuit competition in pageants being sexist; I believed my mentors in the pageant world that, like in body-building competitions, swimsuits just allowed contestants to show off their inner confidence and judges to assess our physical fitness. But after participating in pageants, I’ve realized that the idea that the swimsuit segment is just about fitness is completely false: It’s about whether or not you fit a certain, antiquated ideal of the “perfect woman.”I really don't think many women who join beauty pageants have serious issues regarding "body shaming." Quite the opposite, they may have inflated sense of their attractiveness. The fact that only one can win is a harsh lesson at the end of the process.
So, hearing the news that Miss America will forgo the swimsuit competition, I shed no tears; they will not be alone in the pageant universe. Many prestigious pageant systems already don’t include swimsuits in their competition: the Miss World and Miss International systems both focus on fitness wear or sports to gauge how athletic a contestant really is.
And both systems somehow still manage to pick the most beautiful and fit women in the world as their winners.
Here's the thing my dear. It's all about freedom, just like the 2nd Amendment. Women are free to join pageants for their own purposes, to further their career, or to just feel superior to your contemporaries. I won't question your choices if you don't question theirs. Your statements on pageants implies that women don't have sufficient agency to make their own choices.
The entire pageant world already realized that old school pageantry is dying off, especially since the people who watch at home want a well-rounded, relatable human being as their winner. Some have held onto the old ways because they could — and the organization through which I came up, Miss USA/Miss Universe, has been one of them.
Ironically, I initially chose to enter Miss USA system pageants because they were more inclusive: The Miss America Organization age limit is 24, but the Miss USA/Miss Universe had changed their limit in recent years to 28.
I appreciate your efforts on behalf of the right to keep and bear arms; I would hope you would similarly support women's rights to pursue their life in whatever way they choose.
Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Monday: Shakira Law And The Rock Sharky" ready for your digital pleasure.