It's not exactly bikini weather around here this weekend. Apparently it's not at the Miss World competition either, not by choice of the lovely contestants. Are you bikini-ready? Some don't want you to be.
courtesy of The Telegraph:
Miss World bikini ban: why it's no victory for feminists
Something about the news that Miss World organisers have axed the famed
bikinis from this year's pageant, amid mounting protests from hardline Muslim
groups, doesn't sit quite right. Dr Brooke Magnanti, no fan of beauty pageants,
At this time of year, there is probably no more depressing question than "Are you bikini ready?" It is
the opening salvo of a thousand grim magazine features, an echo chamber of
self-loathing and fat-free yogurt dressed up as indulgence. Well, for this
year's Miss World entrants, that vile utterance at least is one thing they won't
have to hear. With concerns about offending some Muslims in Indonesia, the contest's organisers have agreed that
this year the women will wear sarongs instead.
Get ready for those adverts
As it turns out, it is not the first time the contest has faced objection
from conservative religious groups and altered as a result. It began in 1951 as
a bikini show for the Festival of Britain and was quickly dubbed 'Miss World' by
the tabloids. The first winner, Kiki Hakansson from Sweden, was condemned by the
Pope for her efforts and became the only Miss World ever to be crowned in her
bikini… though not the last to sport swimwear on her victory lap. Miss World
1966, Reita Faria of India, was crowned in a modest black one-piece in 1966.
(And very fetching it looked with a cape and sceptre too.)
Bikinis made a reappearance in later years and more controversy followed. In
the 1970s and 1980s the contest was regularly picketed by feminist protestors,
because let's face it a contest that started as a bikini show is unlikely to
hold much appeal for that crowd. It disappeared from terrestrial broadcasts and
was only semi-successfully revived - for the British pubic, anyway - a decade
Elsewhere it is still hugely popular. You can't go to a Bollywood opening
without tripping over several dozen ex-Miss Worlds, I'm pretty sure Venezuela
actually has a law requiring women to enter it. Believe it or not, the Miss
World competition is still centred on Britain and the winner traditionally lives
in London during the year of her reign. Various objections to the contest have
meant that while it enjoys success worldwide, it was last broadcast on UK
televisions in 1998.