Organizers want to respect host nation Indonesia's Muslim traditions.
This year, the Miss World Beauty Pageant contestants will be forgoing the usual skimpy bikinis to respect the host country Indonesia's Muslim traditions. Instead, the 137 contestants will wear one-piece bathing suits accessorized with long sarongs and hats.
The event will take place in Jakarta Sept. 4 through Sept. 28 when the finals will be broadcast worldwide. Since 90 percent of Indonesia's population identify as Muslim, the pageant's organizers hope the move keeps the event from offending any viewers. They also hope it reminds the public that the beauty competition is not just about how good the contestants look on the outside, but about inner beauty and intelligence as well.
"I do not want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful," said pageant chairwoman Julia Morley.
With the bikini segment being ubiquitous with most beauty pageants, critics are slamming the decision saying organizers are bending to religious conservatives who want to keep women's bodies under wraps while others wonder if the bikini segment — and objectification of women — shouldn't be removed permanently.
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(Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)