The next time the Miss World Pageant is held, there will be no lovely young women dressed in bikinis as they compete for the title of Miss World. That will mark the end of a tradition that has lasted for 63 years, according to People, as the focus of the judging will shift away from physical beauty to aspects like the charity work that each contestant has taken part in.
“No more bikinis? No-o-o-o!” millions of men were said to have yelled across the world upon hearing of this new change, effectively doing away with the bikini round of the pageant.
According to Chris Wilmer, the national director of Miss World America/Miss United States organization, speaking with a reporter from ABC News, the Miss World Pageant organization has made the move to focusing more on the inner beauty of contestants, though their outer beauty will still be important in determining who the winner will be.
Wilmer said that Miss World should be “an ambassador,” rather than just being considered to be “a beauty queen.” He added that the title should be “more about the outreach and what a woman could do with a title like Miss World.”
Miss South Africa, Rolene Strauss, 22, who won the last Miss World Pageant less than a week ago on Sunday, December 14, in London, will be the last woman to win the coveted Miss World crown to also have competed in the bikini round, which will become a thing of the past.
The Miss World Pageant, Wilmer stated, wants to move away from being considered as being a “beauty contest.” Instead, more consideration will be given to the “purpose” of the beauty of the contestants.
According to Wilmer, “There didn’t seem to be a purpose to have the swimsuit.”
Men of the world, be somewhat comforted in knowing that bikinis have not been completely banned from the Miss World Pageant. The Miss World Pageant will have a “beachwear” round now, in which contestants can choose to wear bikinis. Rather than this round being considered as being “a bikini show,” though, Wilmer stated that it would be more like “a fashion competition.”
Miss World, in Wilmer’s words, “should be a spokesperson who can help a community.” Judging of the competition will now consider “what a woman could do with a title like Miss World.”
Julia Morley, the chairwoman of Miss World, is the person who did away with the bikini round, though Chris Wilmer and the founder of the Miss World Pageant competition in 1951, Eric Morley, both agree with the decision. Morley, who is now 74, said in an interview with Elle magazine “I don’t need to see women just walking up and down in bikinis.”
Morley said that having the Miss World Pageant contestants parade about in bikinis “doesn’t do anything for any of us.” Perhaps he will change his mind if there is a sharp drop in the demographic of male viewers of all ages — up to 74, at any rate — tuning in to watch the competition.
A woman’s inner beauty is extremely important, though it can be much more difficult to judge than a woman’s outer beauty. It is admirable for people like Julia, Eric, and Wilmer to point out that a woman’s inner beauty is just as important, if not more so, in judging her overall beauty than her outer beauty. Hopefully, this shift in the Miss World Pageant will not result in a ratings fiasco in 2015, the year when the bikini round will be replaced by a beachwear round.
Opnions By Douglas Cobb