Miss World axes swimsuit competition: 'It does nothing for women'

'We are really not looking at her bottom. We are really listening to her speak.'

Christopher Hooton
Friday 19 December 2014 12:39 GMT
Miss World 2014 took place in London last week
Miss World 2014 took place in London last week

The Miss World beauty pageant is to drop its bikini round after 63 years following comments from its chairwoman who said that it is the entrants' words not bottoms that are important.

Of course, banning a swimsuit competition from a Miss World contest is a bit like banning the N-word from a Klu Klux Klan convention, but hey, her heart's in the right place.

"I don’t need to see women just walking up and down in bikinis, it doesn't do anything for the woman, and it doesn’t do anything for any of us," organiser Julia Morley told Elle magazine.

"I don’t care if someone has a bottom two inches bigger than someone else's. We are really not looking at her bottom. We are really listening to her speak."

The round has been conducted in private since 2001, when it was hilariously renamed the 'beach fashion' round.

Miss World has continually been trying to overhaul its image, with the 1979 contest seeing the introduction of a 'beauty with a purpose' round that saw entrants take part in charity work.

"Miss World should be a spokesperson who can help a community, the organisation's director Chris Wilmer told ABC News. "She's more of an ambassador, not a beauty queen."

The move will do little to appease the competition's critics though, with Roz Hardie, chief executive of women's rights group Object, telling the Telegraph that while a "move away from being extremely sexualised" is "positive", the pageant is still "problematic" as "it creates an expectation on young women and girls to look a certain way and puts pressures on the body."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in