No bikinis for Miss World in Indonesia

2013-06-06 12:30
Jakarta - Contestants at this year's Miss World beauty pageant will not wear bikinis in the parade in a bid to avoid causing offence in Muslim-majority Indonesia, organisers confirmed on Wednesday.

The 137 women taking part in the September contest will swap bikinis for more conservative attire, such as traditional sarongs, for the beach fashion section.

The contest is being held on the resort island of Bali, where foreign tourists flock in their millions and the beaches are packed with women sunbathing in skimpy swimwear.

But Miss World Organisation chairperson Julia Morley insisted that none of the pageant's contestants would wear a bikini.

Controversial music acts

"I don't want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful," she told AFP from London.

"We treasure respect for all the countries that take part in the pageant," she said, adding the final outfits had not yet been finalised.

Organisers are treading carefully after a number of music acts to recently visit Indonesia provoked controversy due to performers' outfits.

Last year pop sensation Lady Gaga was forced to cancel her concert in Indonesia after Muslim hardliners threatened to burn down the venue and criticised her for only wearing "a bra and panties".

Singer Beyoncé and band The Pussycat Dolls were also asked to cover up before performing in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation.

'Promoting hedonism'

The upcoming Miss World pageant, to be held in Bali and Bogor just outside Jakarta, has already stirred anger with the country's top Muslim clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema Council, which has called for its cancellation.

Council cleric Muhyidin Djunaedi accused the event of "promoting hedonism, materialism and consumerism", and said contestants were not positive role models for Muslim youth.

However, organisers insisted that the decision to axe bikinis was taken when the agreement was first struck to hold the event in Indonesia and that they had not changed their plans following complaints.

"We discussed the beach fashion issue last year with Miss World in London before we even agreed to host the event because we knew this would be sensitive in Indonesia," said Nana Putra from media group MNC, the official broadcaster and local organiser.

Comments

  • vernon - 2013-06-06 13:18

    Why bnother to have it there if you have to bow down,have it in a civilized country.

  • Cassandra - 2013-06-06 13:36

    I am a Christian and not the interfaith, inclusive variety either and I fully support what these Muslim clerics are saying re their reasons to axe the bikini idea.. Apart from the values expressed by them, the exposure that goes with the bikinis promotes lust, impure and simple, lust. leads top physical abuse of one sort or another and often rape.

      Roulon du Toit - 2013-06-06 16:40

      Maybe for people that can't control themselves. I've seen plenty of women in bikinis and never felt the urge to rape them. The whole contest is about praising external beauty, so you can say it's all about lust then.

  • Erich Goosen - 2013-06-06 14:51

    The organizers should choose their venues better - it is sad that the wishes of one region should be imposed on others.

  • Theo Konings - 2013-06-06 15:39

    Why have the contest in Indonesia if the whole thing is against their wacky beliefs.

      Phineas McLint - 2013-06-07 05:42

      Wacky beliefs? Why is a bikini an essential part of this competition? Why do you need to see a women as covered as she'd be in her underwear to make a decision about her beauty as a human being?

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2013-06-06 17:06

    Why bother to watch the pageant when there is good porn on the internet.

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