British Miss Universe contestant Muna Jama refused to wear a bikini during the competition and chose to cover up with a Kaftan instead.
The 27-year-old Muslim contestant has become the first contestant to choose to wear an outfit different from other contestants. Jama was able to take part in the finals of the competition after the pageant officials had said that she can wear a cover-up if she chooses to.
“It takes bravery, emotional resilience and most importantly surrounding yourself with strong minded people who are prepared to make great sacrifices,” Jama posted on her Instagram feed, adding, “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.”
The businesswomen decided two years ago to participate in the competition. However, she revealed that she is not comfortable wearing a bikini. Even though the swimsuit round of the contest is essential.
In 2016, the Miss Teen USA, from 15 to 19, announced that the swimsuit would be replaced by athlete wear. Contestants in Miss Universe have always been criticized and accused of objectifying women and girls.
Jama told Metro, “I wouldn’t wear a bikini to a beach, so I’m not going to wear one in a competition to score points.”
“It was very hard at first because I built up these thoughts that it was impossible,” Jama said. She added that when she took the stage, she went numb because people were screaming and chanting, “Don’t be afraid.”
Jama is raising awareness of her nonprofit work in Somalia. She is the founder of Cloudless Research, a startup that deals with child abuse and migrant crisis. Also, she volunteered to help refugees in Egypt and Somalia, her home country.