Participating in the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe Great Britain beauty pageant is a given, but one contestant wasn’t about to wear a bikini. Instead, Muna Jama became the first contestant ever to wear a caftan on stage.
“I wouldn’t wear a bikini to the beach, so I’m not going to wear one in a competition to score points,” she said back in May.
This was the second time she had applied to the Miss Universe pageant (she pulled out two years ago because of the swimsuit round), and when she did, she asked to stay covered on the runway. For the Muslim contestant, wearing a revealing swimsuit is against her religion, and simply put, she wasn’t comfortable in a bikini. Her situation was similar to model Halima Aden, who wore a burkini for the swimsuit round of the pageant she participated in.
Though Muna admitted she went back and forth with the organization, in the end, Miss Universe agreed to let her compete in a caftan. The moment was a win for her (and future contestants) because it proved she doesn’t have to show skin to look and feel beautiful. In fact, Muna strutted down the stage with a ton of confidence. Muna addressed the big day on Instagram, writing, “This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitation is a status waiting to be changed.” Scroll on to read the entire powerful message.
Halima Aden Made History as the First Woman in a Hijab to Grace the Cover of Allure