For the first time in 63 years, the Miss World organization has announced that it will no longer have a swimsuit competition in their pageants, reports E! Online.
“The organization has decided to take itself out of the swimsuit world because it isn’t the path they’re trying to take,” Chris Wilmer, the national director of Miss World America/Miss United States organization, said. “It’s not just a beauty contest, it’s ‘beauty with a purpose’. There didn’t seem to be a purpose to have the swimsuit.”
I know many men that would argue a purpose. The purpose of seeing beautiful women parade around in bikinis. This is the exact reason why the organization has decided to nix the event. Wilmer says the women competiting in the pageant should be known for their outstanding moral characters.
“Miss World should be a spokesperson who can help a community. She’s more of an ambassador, not a beauty queen. It’s more about the outreach and what a woman could do with a title like Miss World,” Wilmer told ABC News.
The choice to make the pageant more lifestyle oriented, instead of a beauty contest, shows the organization’s yearning to modernize a old practice. Beauty pageants have been around for a long time and the swimsuits have been there the entire time.
[Photo credit: Eonline.com]Wilmer also says the organization hopes this change will help make the contestants become more appreciated for their personalities and not their physical appearances. Some support the decision, but others don’t really see the reasoning.
Miss World gets rid of swimsuit competition… and now maybe I have a smidgen of respect for beauty pageants.
— Christine Sisto (@ChristineSisto) December 19, 2014
Don't get why Miss World is ditching the bikini round. Those women are magnificent why shouldn't they show their bodies.
— Reuben Goldberg (@RubyGold) December 19, 2014
The announcement comes on the heels of this year’s competition. The 2014 Miss World pageant took place on Sunday. 22 year old, Miss South Africa, Rolene Strauss, was crowned 2014’s Miss World.
[Photo credit: E! Online]And, yes, she can rock a bathing suit.
But, Strauss is also the perfect example of the type of moral character the organization wants to promote. Strauss is a fourth year medical student and participates in regular volunteer work.
Sunday’s pageant marked the organization’s last bikini competition.