Sun. Sep 24th, 2023


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Miss England boss ditches swimwear round in U-turn – ‘we can’t please everyone’

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Miss England contestants won’t be showing off their swimwear after all despite bosses announcing its return weeks ago.

The controversial part of the long-running beauty pageant was first axed the section in 2009.

Organiser and former contestant Angie Beasley previously said the contest should "become about more than congratulating girls for looking good or having the bravery to parade on stage half-naked.”

READ MORE: Miss England transforms into sexy showgirl as her beauty queen reign is extended

But more recently she took a change of tack, saying that “body positivity and female empowerment are huge” so they decided to embrace an optional bikini round via pictures that could be submitted.

Now after a furore among contestants and in media debates, Angie has cut the whole thing from the contest.

Angie told The Sun: “I know some contestants will be disappointed in this outcome, but we can’t please everyone.”

“The focus needs to be on other factors such as the Beauty with a Purpose round, which recognises the ethos of the contestants and raises lots of funds for charities.”

Contestants views on the move are divided.

Anjali Sinha, 23, a scientist from ­Middlesex, is the reigning Miss London.

She said the round “empowers women to be confident in their own skin”.

In contrast Hannah Jowle, from Blackpool, one of this year's semi-finalists, said: “Confident women don’t feel the need to show off their bodies.”

Another change to the contest in recent times has been that contestants were asked to ditch their make up and send in photos without filters.

The Miss London and South East 2023 earlier this year featured women competing make-up free.

Organisers claimed the concept will empower women, boost confidence and promote a more realistic body image.

All 34 competitors participated in the auditions, semi final photoshoot and final catwalk without wearing make-up.

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Jessica Gagen, 27, was crowned the first redhead winner of the prestigious Miss England back in October last year.

The trainee astronaut will become the second longest serving Miss England ever after her reign was extended due to this year's Miss World competition being postponed.

The Miss England semi-finals will be held in her home county on exactly a year to the date since Jessica was crowned the winner in 2022.

Jessica, of Skelmersdale, said: "My reign being extended is fantastic news as it gives me even longer to promote my campaign to get more girls interested in engineering and more children interested in STEM as a whole."

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