Belfast Telegraph

Julianne Hough hints at major contest changes ahead of Miss USA 2016

Julianne Hough is hoping the beauty pageant will help boost women's self-esteem.

Miss USA 2016 co-host Julianne Hough is working hard to transform the perception of beauty pageants.

The 27-year-old Rock of Ages star is presenting this year's show and she has also been serving as one of the programme's creative producers.

And during production discussions with lead executives, Julianne reveals she has been pushing forward an agenda surrounding how pageants are perceived by the public.

"Something I’m very passionate about is young women and confidence, and self-esteem, and really celebrating all the qualities a woman is today," she tells USA Today. "I get that cringe-worthy negative connotation (about beauty pageants), a competition to see who is the most beautiful.

"I wanted to be able to give my input as far as what is going to inspire young women to be healthy, to be active, to love themselves, to be compassionate and kind to others."

A major component of beauty pageants that leaves some feminists squirming is the bathing suit competition, and while describing her production aims for Miss USA, Julianne hinted the segment may be axed from the event in upcoming years.

"There’s definitely some work I think still to be done, that’s where we’ve been talking with the producers," she shares. "In the next few years we may grow from that (bathing suit contest), but let’s see where this year goes."

But she accepts there is a plus to the swimsuit segment, explaining she believes the competition may actually serve as a major boost for women's overall self-esteem: "There is the whole thing of being confident in the fact you worked hard to get that body and you go to the gym and you eat healthy and do certain things," she observes. "It’s not different if you are going to the beach."

Miss USA 2016 will air in the U.S. on Sunday (05Jun16) night.

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