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Shanna Moakler

Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Pageant star and former Miss New York Shanna Moakler wants to make something clear.

The 41-year-old spoke out in response to the Miss Universe organization announcing that they're eliminating the swimsuit portion of the Miss Teen USA competition, explaining that taking the stage in a bikini was never about flaunting sex appeal, and always about showcasing one's dedication and fitness.

"The Swimsuit competition hasn't ever been about being sexy. It's about showcasing your dedication to your health and fitness and how you exude confidence," she tells E! News. "These girls work hard."

However, with that said, Moakler is excited to see what type of the change the athletic wear competition will bring. "I think athletic wear will be a fun change. Pageants have consistently evolved over the decades and have tried numerous plays on different portions of the competition. I think with the modern fun fit wear we have today, this could be a fun change."

Additionally, Moakler thinks by swapping out swimwear for athleisure, the teenage ladies will have more of an even playing field in the competition.

"I think there is some merit to it. A girl's body can change tremendously from age 14 to age 19 so this may level the playing field a bit. I support this new initiative and can't wait to see how it plays out as it may introduce new young women to the Miss Teen USA system which is a great organization for our youth."

Ali Landry, who was crowned Miss USA in 1996, is also a fan of the switch-up, telling E! News, "I think that this change is a wonderful progression for the competition! I would also like to hear about each girls health and fitness philosophy. I hope this new change is not about looking better than someone else, but rather about being better than they used to be! Now that's motivation for all of us!"

Miss Universe president, Paula Shugart, explained that the shift is hopeful in celebrating women's "strength, confidence and beauty."

"This decision reflects an important cultural shift we're all celebrating that empowers women who lead active, purposeful lives and encourage those in their communities to do the same," she wrote.  Our hope is that this decision will help all of Miss Teen USA's fans recognize these young women for the strong, inspiring individuals they are."