Guys who enjoy ogling beautiful women in bikinis can take a pass on the upcoming 2013 Miss World pageant taking place in Indonesia.
Pageant officials have banned the wearing of bikini swimsuits in favor of having contestants wear Bali’s traditional more conservative sarong. The fashion change was prompted by numerous protests from Muslim groups.
Pageant organizers said that they felt since Indonesia has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations, it was fitting that fashions in the beauty pageant more closely represent the country’s more conservative and traditional core values of modesty in dress.
“It has been misunderstood by some people that Miss World is a beauty competition focusing on the physical attractiveness of a woman’s body,” the organizer, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, an Indonesian media tycoon, said.
“This is absolutely misleading,” Mr. Tanoesoedibjo said, adding that the pageant is also about “inner beauty, which includes intelligence, manners and achievement.”
The decision to ban the wearing of bikinis by contestants has not been a quick overnight decision but has been discussed since last year. An expected 137 young women will be participating in the 2013 Miss World Contest this September near Jakarta on the island of Bali.
The pageant chairwoman says that she is very pleased with the beautiful design of the long sarong beachwear that contestants will be outfitted with to replace the bikini parade in the program and notes that it was very important for contest organizers to feel that they were respecting local customs and mores when bringing the popular pageant to Indonesia.
Julia Morley, chairwoman and chief executive of Miss World in London, said there had been other years when contestants wore one-piece suits. And, she said, no one in Indonesia has specifically banned anything, per se.
“I did make sure to conform to the rules in Indonesia, which I thought were perfectly reasonable rules,” Ms. Morley said. “I’m working with 137 countries, and all of them have different rules.”
Mr. Tanoesoedibjo said he was working hard to persuade skeptics that the pageant truly is more about minds and spirits than about bodies.
“We are now trying to explain what a Miss World pageant is all about,” he said.
On Twitter, Miss World pageant fans sounded off on the new “bikini ban.”
“Few words make me angrier than ‘bikini ban,'” wrote Eduardo.
Younes posted, “#Respect : the miss world beauty pageant is banning the bikini competition.”
The pageant is scheduled to take place on Sept. 28.
Bikinis banned at 2013 Miss World pageant in Indonesia
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