The Miss World Pageant just dropped a 63-year-old, super sexist tradition.
The organization’s chairwoman, Julia Morley, announced on Thursday that Miss World will no longer feature the extremely popular but highly contested swimsuit portion, beginning next year.
“The organization has decided to take itself out of the swimsuit world because it isn’t the path they’re trying to take,” Chris Wilmer, the national director of Miss World America/Miss United States organization, said, according to E! News. “It’s not just a beauty contest, it’s ‘beauty with a purpose.’ There didn’t seem to be a purpose to have the swimsuit.”
It’s a huge step that seems designed to modernize Miss World. There’s no word yet on whether Miss America and other similar pageant organizations will follow suit, but if eliminating the swimsuit portion from Miss World successfully allows the contestants and winners to focus on charity work and raising awareness for their causes like it’s supposed to, it could be a possibility that swimsuit competitions are eliminated from pageants altogether. Here’s hoping, anyway.
“Miss World should be a spokesperson who can help a community. She’s more of an ambassador, not a beauty queen. It’s more about the outreach and what a woman could do with a title like Miss World,” Wilmer told ABC News. “I salute the Miss World organization for their efforts to try and modernize. Pageantry is an age-old industry, and I think with Julia getting rid of swimsuit and making it more of a lifestyle competition sends a strong message, and I applaud her for it.”
Earlier this week, South Africa’s Rolene Strauss was crowned the 64th Miss World winner in London, England. Now we know she’ll be the last winner to have modeled a bikini on the pageant’s stage.
What do you think of the Miss World organization’s decision to drop the swimsuit portion of the competition? Sound off in the comments below.