She posted a video of herself twerking on TikTok. That generally wouldn't have been a big deal, but for this 25-year-old, it meant the loss of a crown. Lucy Maino has been stripped of her Miss Papua New Guinea title after sharing the now-deleted video, reports the Guardian. Critics had claimed the video, for which Maino faced intense online harassment, showed she was not fit to be a role model. That was despite her having led Papua New Guinea's women's soccer team as a co-captain and earning a degree from the University of Hawaii. Representatives of the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant Papua New Guinea launched an investigation into possible misconduct and contract breach last month, per ABC Australia. This week, the committee announced Maino had been "released" from her duties, which included acting as a cultural ambassador.
The committee said "an amicable decision was reached" with Maino, who'd served in the role since her 2019 win as the coronavirus pandemic prevented a 2020 contest. It added the pageant serves to promote "cultural heritage" and "traditional values," and "our core purpose is empowerment of women." A former Miss Papua New Guinea noted the sexist reaction to the video, claiming a man would be praised for doing the same thing. The United Nations in Papua New Guinea also commented on the case as Maino was among PNG youth representatives who met with UN officials last year, per the Independent. "We see the devastation of violence against women and children in this beautiful country," reads the statement, per the Guardian. "It starts with telling women they should cover up. It starts with telling women they shouldn't dance like that." (This follows beauty pageant drama in Sri Lanka.)