Katherine Haik hosts the Miss Teen USA pageant this evening in Las Vegas as her one-year rein comes to an end.
An active member of her youth group at First Baptist Church in Franklinton, Louisiana, in 2015 Katherine became the youngest-ever contestant to win the pageant.
Alas, the then 15-year-old high school freshman did not earn her victory without making a certain compromise – disregarding the Scripture advising that “women should adorn themselves in respectable attire, with modesty and self control.”
Well, one needn’t be prudish to wonder whether sashaying across a stage in high heels and a teensy bikini fits the Biblical definition of “modesty.” Especially, for an underage girl like Katherine.
But let those of us who have never compromised our Christian values for the sake of expediency cast the first stone. For all of us who are not perfect have compromised and fall short of the glory of God.
And in the case of Katherine, now 16-years-old, she has redeemed herself in the eyes of this Christ follower.
That’s because she was one of the influential voices that persuaded the Miss Teen USA organization, which produces the annual pageant, to do away with the swimsuit competition.
Katherine initially faced pushback from pageant organizers. They argued that the swimsuit competition, long a staple of “beauty pageants,” was meant to judge the fitness and athleticism of pageant contestants (wink, wink).
The outgoing Miss Teen USA refused to back down. “I have been an athlete my entire life,” she said. “As a member of a softball team and a competitive dance team, I spend a lot of time in athletic wear.”
And so it is this evening that the swimsuit competition – which more accurately could have been labeled the sexual objection portion of the program – has been replaced by a less immodest “athleisure” competition.
No, the Miss Teen USA contestants will not be attired in sweat suits or fencing gear or other such less-than-flattering athletic garb. They will model work-out attire routinely seen at fitness clubs.
Of course, some will complain that organizers of the Miss Teen USA pageant have succumbed to “political correctness.” And some others will suggest that elimination of the pageant’s swimsuit competition is nothing less than surrender to the radical feminist agenda.
But what Christ follower is sanguine about his or her underage daughter (or granddaughter) being ogled at a bikini contest?
And what Godly parents do not discourage daughters from wearing clothing so revealing, so immodest, that it invites the prurient thoughts, stirs the illicit sexual desire, of not only boys their age, but also grown men?
Indeed, we see all too often what can happen to young girls who unknowingly cross paths with wicked young or older men.
Just two years ago, for instance, 18-year-old Jared James Abrams hacked the laptops of several young women, including Cassidy Wolf, the 2013 Miss Teen USA. The computer geek took control of their webcams and snapped videos and photos of the girls as they undressed.
Abrams contacted Cassidy, threatening that he would post the nude photos he hacked from her webcam unless she sent him racier photos, a nude video and give him a private 5-minute sex show on Skype.
“Please remember I’m only 17,” the Miss Teen USA pleaded, “Have a heart.”
The teen-age “sextortionist” was unmoved. “I do not have a heart,” he shouted at Cassidy, adding, “age doesn’t mean a thing to me.”
Abrams is like a lot of males who prey upon females. If a female wears sexually-alluring attire – like a bikini – the predator considers her fair game. And it matters not to him how young she is.
That’s why Katherine Haik was just the right girl to reign as Miss Teen USA for such a time as this.
By persuading pageant organizers to do away with the bikini competition, she stuck a blow not only for under-age girls like her and Cassidy Wolf, but women of all ages who sometime feel they must compromise their modesty to get ahead.
Who place themselves in the crosshairs of sexual predators.