[A contestant in bikini watches as Muna Jama walks on the stage wearing Kaftan (Photo: Instagram)]
London: A Muslim woman competing in the Miss Universe Great Britain pageant has become the first to do so in a kaftan, telling the beauty contest organisers that she would not wear a swimsuit, according to Independent.
Muna Jama, 27, was invited to the finals of the competition when the pageant officials agreed that she could “wear a cover-up if she chose.”
“I wouldn’t wear a bikini to a beach, so I’m not going to wear one in a competition to score points", the Metro newspaper quoted Muna Jama as saying.
"Jama had been invited to apply for Miss Universe Great Britain two years ago, but decided against taking part as she was uncomfortable stripping down to a bikini for the swimsuit section of the contest, where the women walk up and down the stage, in front of a panel of judges.
"However, this year, she decided to apply again, but this time petitioning officials allowed her to wear a kaftan", the organisers said.
Muna Jama later walked on to the stage wearing a multi-coloured kaftan, large hooped earrings, a silver choker and black platform shoes.
After making history with her choice to stay true to her ideals and beliefs, she took to Instagram to share with the world her feeling of accomplishment.
"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," she wrote.
Refusing to wear a swimsuit at beauty contests has a long history. In 1951, Miss Alabama and Miss America, Yolande Betbeze refused to wear swimwear at a public appearance.
"To…go into Milwaukee in the middle of the winter and walk around a department store in a bathing suit,” she argued, “is not my idea of Miss America.”