October 3, 2013 2:09 PM EST
Miss World Pageant Chair Julia Morley: "Contest Empowers Women And Gives Them A Voice” [PHOTOS/VIDEOS]
Global beauty pageant Miss World has seen many controversies and criticism since it s inception in 1951. The most notable protests, by the Women's Liberation Movement in London, 1970 ("We're not beautiful, we're not ugly, we're angry").
Miss World 2013, hosted this year by Indonesia, again faced the protests, surrounded by the controversies from day one and happened amidst serious security threats by hardliner Muslims. Miss World Muslimah: a rival pageant for Muslim women which was supposed to be 'Islam's answer to Miss World'.
But Miss World chair Julia Morley takes scrutiny in her stride. She is insisted that everyone is having liberty to their own opinion and so - now that the Miss World getting stronger with the passage of time and she seems reasonably not influenced by criticism and controversies.
"Everyone has a right to protest. But it's a shame is that no one comes and speaks to us before doing so," "How can people who are so passionate not care to find out the whole story?" she told in an interview with HuffPost UK Lifestyle.
"During the Women's Lib protests, no one came to me to ask questions. From a woman's point of view, I found it rather confusing." She added.
Following her husband Eric Morley's death in 2000, Julia has been taking care of philanthropic side of Miss World pageant. She ardently told that the contest is more than just bikini beach wear rounds.
"Miss World empowers women - it gives them a voice," says Julia. "And not just the 130 contestants, who get to network, learn, grow, and have fun for the month-long contest and beyond. But women across the world who are represented." She continued.
As part of the Beauty With A Purpose campaign to generate awareness and fundraising, each Miss World contestant brings a project from their native country. The organisation has raised £450m to date.
"I'm proud of what we do," "We work with incredible women - dentists who travel for miles to look after the teeth of the poverty-stricken; doctors committed to health and social problems. It's fantastic to be able to support people." Said Julia.
But the community-focussed nature of projects is often put in the shade by the glitz and glamourof the show, resulting in harsh criticism over women's depiction and objectification.The quintessence of this is the much-hyped bikini round, which Julia without delay removed in 2000 when she took over.
"I found it very out-dated to have girls gyrating on stage in their bikinis, so we got rid of it. It was a team decision, but something I felt strongly about," she explains. "Some of the girls felt uncomfortable, they're not trained dancers but doctors and nurses - so we swapped bikinis for a beach-wear round." She explained.
"The round is also optional," But in the last two years only one contestant has decided not to take part. "She added.
The bikini round again this year embarked protests from hardliners as they believe that the contest values women's external beauty above all, which sends a detrimental message to the world. But Julia said our focus shouldn't be on the shallow, but addressing core issues at the show.
"I take no issue with women who want to show off their bodies or beauty. So I see no problem with Page 3," she said.
"During the Miss World Contest spending our time focussing on working towards something positive and useful," she says. "We want to make change happen."Julia explained in the conversation.
Our thoughts also go with Julia what do you think about this beauty contest? Please let us us know by voting beow:
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