Miss World cancels bikini round to avoid offending Muslims as pageant is set to take place in Indonesia
For those of you who tune in to watch the pageant just to see some skin, sorry not this year. Contestants at this yearâ€™s Miss World Beauty Pageant will not wear bikinis in the parade in a bid to avoid causing offence in Muslim-majority Indonesia, organisers confirmed Wednesday.
The 137 women taking part in the September contest will swap bikinis for more conservative attire, such as traditional sarongs, for the beach fashion section.
The contest is being held on the resort island of Bali, where foreign tourists flock in their millions and the beaches are packed with women sunbathing in skimpy swimwear.
But Miss World Organisation chairwoman Julia Morley insisted that none of the pageantâ€™s contestants would wear a bikini.
â€œI donâ€™t want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful,â€ she told AFP from London.
â€œWe treasure respect for all the countries that take part in the pageant,â€ she said, adding the final outfits had not yet been finalised.
Organisers are treading carefully after a number of music acts to recently visit Indonesia provoked controversy due to performersâ€™ outfits.
Last year pop sensation Lady Gaga was forced to cancel her concert in Indonesia after Muslim hardliners threatened to burn down the venue and criticised her for only wearing â€œa bra and pantiesâ€.
Singer Beyonce and band The Pussycat Dolls were also asked to cover up before performing in the worldâ€™s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
The upcoming Miss World pageant, to be held in Bali and Bogor just outside Jakarta, has already stirred anger with the countryâ€™s top Muslim clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema Council, which has called for its cancellation.