American Samoa Visitor's Bureau executive director David Vaeafe disagrees with criticism by a Fiji women's rights group of the Miss South Pacific pageant.
The group's Edwina Kotoisuva had said the annual pageant is outdated and promotes a concept of beauty which Pacific women often don't fit into.
But Mr Vaeafe, who is the Territory's member on the Miss South Pacific board of directors, says the pageant since its inception has always been about promoting the identity of the Pacific woman, and culture of the Pacific.
He says the regional pageant was never modelled towards other international beauty contests such as Miss World or Miss Universe.
He says the pageant's stand has always been about celebrating young Pacific women, and Pacific culture and that focus continues today.
American Samoa is the host country for this year's pageant, which opens today with a week long of activities.
Today's activities includes a briefing for the contestants followed by a press conference.