Though many pageants are playing down the bikini contest part,  participants in some beauty contests like the Miss Earth or the Miss Teen USA pageants, are required to wear bikinis as part of the competition. Early women's bodybuilding was about bikini contests. After protests in the s Gloria Miller Fudge started real bodybuilding. History[ edit ] In the United States, beauty pageants of women in bathing costumes became popular from the s. However, such events were not regarded as respectable. Beauty contests became more respectable with the first modern " Miss America " contest held in , though less respectable beauty contests continued to be held.