Oceanport native Gina Mellish will compete later this month for the title of Miss Teen USA, but don’t expect to see her in a bikini on stage later this month.
For the first time in the pageant’s 33-year history, the Miss Universe Organization has eliminated the swimsuit competition. Instead, the 51 beauties (from all 50 states and the District of Columbia) will be judged in a new athletic wear competition.
Pageant organizers say the move is to focus more on physical fitness, which has always been the intention of the most skin-baring portion of the show and Gina is definitely in support of the decision judging by her Instagram post this week.
“Miss Teen USA is officially changing the swimsuit competition to “active wear”!!! How exciting,” she wrote. “So cool to be a part of the Miss Universe Organization change! What do you guys think?!”
Katherine Haik, the reigning Miss Teen USA, also shared her support in a statement to InsideJersey.com: “I have been an athlete my entire life. As a member of a softball team and a competitive dance team, I spend a lot of time in athletic wear.”
On July 30, the 17-year-old Red Bank Catholic High School graduate will represent the Garden State at the annual contest in Las Vegas.
Gina was crowned Miss New Jersey Teen USA in May, beating out dozens of other gorgeous girls from around the state. Watch her tearful crowning moment below — we hope she has a repeat of this in Vegas!