Miss World bans bikinis amid protests in Indonesia

Featured South East Asia - June 7th, 2013

Organizers of this year’s Miss World beauty pageant has scrapped the mostly-awaited swimsuit portion to avoid causing offence in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

Instead of two-piece bikinis, the 137 contestants will don more conservative sarongs on stage for the beach segment of the pageant which will be held on the resort island of Bali in September.

Adjie S. Soeratmadjie, one of the local organizers, confirmed that all contestants will be required to wear Bali’s traditional long sarong instead of the skimpy swimwear that is traditionally part of the competition, reports The Associated Press.

He also said the London-based Miss World Organization has agreed to the changes.

“We treasure (and) respect all the countries that take part in the pageant,” Miss World Organization chairwoman Julia Morley said.

Meanwhile, Islamic hardliners in the country vowed to stop the “immoral” beauty pageant even with the scrapping of the bikinis. The Hizb ut-Tahrir group slammed the competition as akin to “selling women’s bodies” and threatened to hold demonstrations against it, reports AFP.