Pageant not about putting girl in bikini or just a pretty face

Pageant not about putting girl in bikini or just a pretty face

KUALA LUMPUR: After the fallout from former Miss Malaysia Universe Samantha Katie James’ inflammatory remarks, one of the pageant’s most celebrated title holders has come to its defense by saying the event was not just about looks or putting girls in bathing suits.

Datin Elaine Daly, who is also the Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation’s(MUMO) national director, told a local daily here today that the pageant prides itself in empowering women, giving their voices a platform as well as offering access to education through scholarships.

“It’s not about putting a girl in a bikini and it’s not just having a pretty face there.”

“It’s giving you a pedestal, a voice to speak out about the right things, not the wrong things like what she (James) has done.

“She has not done the right thing at all, I’m shocked,” Daly told a news portal here today.

Daly and alongside pageant runners had been put in the hot-seat after James’ series of shockingly ignorant and racist remarks that appear to glorify white privilege.

The pageant has been taken to task for choosing James to represent Malaysia when she had among others publically told African Americans protesting the death of George Floyd’s whose life ended under police restrain to “relax” and “take it as a challenge”.

She claimed that “they chose to be born as a ‘coloured’ person in America for a reason” and to “learn certain lessons.”

The Malaysian model of Chinese-Brazillian descent also defended herself against criticism pointing out her privilege by claiming that she had experienced discrimination as a “white girl in a local Malaysian school.

As a result of the fallout Malaysians on social media also questioned the need for pageants in general.

Daly had also said that James’ remarks were “horrendous” and her actions have tarnished the image of MUMO.

“It has affected the pageant’s reputation but I hope people see beyond that — this is just one girl who has made a statement like this. She’s affiliated with us because of the title but we no longer represent her, we have nothing to really do with her anymore actually.”

Daly added MUMO had distanced itself from James since June 2018 after James opted out early of what was meant to be a three-year contract.

On Monday the MUMO said James’ remarks were inappropriate, offensive, unacceptable and hurtful.

“I did not expect this especially three years down the road after she finished her reign with us for us to get this kind of backlash,” she had reportedly added.

Source: NST

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