Miss World Banishes the Bikini

'I don't need to see women walking up and down in bikinis,' contest chairwoman says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2014 9:13 AM CST

(Newser) – Just days after South Africa's Rolene Strauss won this year's crown, Miss World organizers have announced it will no longer feature the swimsuit portion of the contest, reports the New York Daily News. Next year's competition will be the first year in the event's 63-year history in which the contestants put on a "beachwear" fashion show instead of parading down the catwalk in bikinis, ABC News reports. It's not exactly clear what "beachwear" means, though a rep for the event frames it as "more of a fashion competition than a bikini show." The Daily News notes that Miss World had already stopped airing the bathing suit portion of the competition, and had made it optional.

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Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe pageant, puts what Elle calls a "strong emphasis" on swimsuits and doesn't include interviews or service elements during his contest, as Miss World does. After Miss World Chairwoman Julia Morley's husband (the founder of Miss World) died in 2000, Trump called Morley and reportedly asked, "So little lady, are you ready to throw in the towel?" His remarks spurred Morley to get a $5 million loan and keep her contest going. As for the latest change, "I don't need to see women just walking up and down in bikinis," Morley tells Elle. "It doesn't do anything for the woman. And it doesn't do anything for any of us." (Miss World got rid of bikinis in 2013 out of respect to host country Indonesia.)

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