Miss New Jersey Teen USA Gina Mellish, 17, of Oceanport, has been in Las Vegas this week preparing for Saturday night’s ceremony to crown Miss Teen USA.
The pageant has changed this year, and for the first time, is nixing the traditional swimsuit competition in favor of athletic wear; instead of a bathing suit, Gina will be wearing workout gear by designer Goldsheep in collaboration with Tapout. She wrote of the bikini ban decision that it’s “exciting,” adding, “So cool to be a part of the Miss Universe Organization change!”
The Red Bank Catholic High School graduate has been outspoken about her belief in body positivity, writing in an Instagram caption, “Being here at Miss USA and having the privilege to be with my other Miss Teen USA 2016 queens, I have finally come to terms with feeling confidently beautiful in my own skin. While I don’t have the flattest stomach, the thinnest thighs, or the strongest arms, I am so happy with who I am and so comfortable in my own skin. I am so proud to be a part of an organization that promotes a healthy body image and encourages us to be all shapes and sizes. It isn’t about having the best body, it’s about being the best version of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle. I want other girls to love the skin you’re in and never be ashamed of who you are!”
Whether she wins or loses, Gina’s already had a fabulous visit to Vegas, and what happens there hasn’t stayed there, but has in fact been shared by her on social media. She’s been taking in the sights, including donning boxing gloves to pose next to a wax figure of Muhammad Ali at wax museum Madame Tussaud’s. She used the hashtag #gameface, which we’re pretty sure applies to her big night as well as Ali’s image. She even gave a Jersey shoutout when posing with a wax Incredible Hulk! That’s our kind of Jersey girl.
The pageant streams live Saturday night. You know who we will be rooting for!