Every Body celebrates inclusivity and the representation of human beings in every shape and form.
When beauty queen Muna Jama realized she’d need to wear a bikini for the swimsuit portion of Miss Universe Great Britain, she knew she had a problem. The 27-year-old British Muslim woman immediately asked pageant officials if she could break tradition and wear a caftan instead to honor her religious beliefs.
“This is my body and I’ll choose not to wear a bikini,” she told AJ+.
The Miss Universe Great Britain beauty pageant is a qualifier for Miss Universe. The pageant bosses okayed her request and Jama paraded on stage in a glorious, colorful caftan complete with stunning jewelry and heels.
The crowd apparently loved it. “I went onstage and I went numb. People [were] screaming, there was people chanting,” she told AJ+.
She’s now the first woman to wear a caftan in the bikini part of the competition.
“This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed. I thank everyone who stood beside me and believed in my vision,” Jama wrote in an Instagram post.
Swimsuit competitions have long been criticized for objectifying women. The Miss Teen USA competition announced last year that its 15- to 19-year old competitors would be sporting athletic wear instead of bikinis.
Jama didn’t win the competition, but she’s busy with her non-profit work in Somalia, as she writes about in her blog for Miss Universe Great Britain. She co-founded Cloudless Research, which aims to build awareness in Somalia and abroad about human smugglers who send refugees and migrants across the Mediterranean.
In the meantime, maybe pageant officials should consider giving all potential Miss Universes the option to wear something other than a couple triangles of fabric.
Are you a Miss Universe pageant fan? Are you pro or con the swimsuit portion of the competition? Tell us @BritandCo.