From ‘Miss World CEO slams S’pore pageant standards’, 28 Jan 2011, article by Angela Lim in Fit to Post, Yahoo News
…(Ms Julia Morley, British chairperson and CEO of Miss World Limited): “I was shocked to hear that the representation of the Miss World brand has been diluted to such a degree here that I don’t recognise it anymore…The girls are being paraded in bikinis and the show has become more for a showgirl club type image. The show’s judging panel must think of who will make a good ambassador for Singapore, not who has the biggest… you know.”
Ms Morley, who has owned the Miss World brand for the last 40 years, also claims people have e-mailed to inform her that Singapore’s pageant winners have not been active in charity work, amongst other complaints.
…(Tracy Lee, events consultant): “This is a beauty contest where the girls must have a good figure and complexion, so if they do not parade in swimwear, what do they wear?”
…So what qualities should the ideal Miss World Singapore possess?
According to Ms Morley, she must first be someone who likes and understands Singapore and has the confidence to promote charity work and her home country overseas. In addition, she must be intelligent and have a good heart.
“If she hasn’t got money, that’s not her fault, so we are here to help her and groom her. She must learn how to dress, walk, speak well and even do things like holding a microphone properly,” she said.
Firstly, Miss Morley, CEO, we men don’t watch Miss World pageants for who has the biggest…you know. There’s something called the internet for the biggest anything, maybe you’ve heard of it. If the real intention of the Miss World contest is to nurture a philanthropist, why bother with the glamour, make-up, poise and pageantry at all? Generous women with a ‘good heart’ do not need to be eloquent or maintain composure before bright lights and 10 year series questions like ‘What would you do with the prize money if you won (Definitely not spending on myself!)”?. Why, in fact, do you need a certain personality or specific training, like ‘how to hold a microphone’, to pursue a passion for charity at all? I mean, how would the skill of emceeing or knowing how to identify a salad fork apply in a shanty village of poor orphans where the residents care more about food, cash or even electricity than your pronunciation and graceful sauntering?
In an age of social media and reality TV, a Miss World pageant without the slightest whiff of sex appeal will join the ranks of tourist board promotional ads, things that Singaporeans wouldn’t care about and prick their ears only when they hear these specific words in the news: Miss World. Sex tape/pic. Leaked. Some people, on the other hand, instead of running the more likely Google search ‘Miss World scandal’, check whether our beauty queens were actually present at tsunami aftermath sites pushing decaying bodies on a trolley and not merely blowing kisses at unamused children. After which they complain to the Miss World CEO that her Miss World underlings are not doing their job, whilst they sit on their butts and only contribute to the needy with the touch of a few buttons when a celebrity charity show is on television. A bikini-less contest would be a cliched footnote, where the only memorable features of it would be a weary perpetuation of sexism or a history of producing pesky celebrity in the likes of Ris Low who, like a fly trapped in a airplane toilet, just refuses to go away. More importantly, it would mislead people into thinking that all our beauty contestants look like aunties. In fact, nothing dispels Miss World’s superficial facade like the audacity of fat women posing nude for charity. Proof that, hey, you don’t need to be svelte, pretty or be a scholar in world peace to do something worthwhile. Or perhaps, as seen in this letter (Girls keener on glitter than having hearts of gold, 21 May 1978, ST), our beauty queens just don’t have the biggest…you know, Heart for this kind of thing anymore.