They say, “Age is just a number,” but for recent winners in the Miss World pageants it has meant losing the opportunity to represent their country in Mongolia in August.
This past weekend, Fijian beauty queen Torika Watters was disqualified for being underage. Under the advice of Miss World Fiji pageant director Andhy Blake, Watters entered the competition. She is 16; the minimum age requirement to compete is 17.
The decision to replace Watters with the first runner up Koini Vakaloloma follows negative criticism of the European-Fijian beauty who lacked the naturally frizzy hair that is indigenous to the nation. Watters looks forward to leaving this “pageant fiasco” behind her.
In April, Marie Hughes won the title of Miss Ireland and was quickly stripped of the crown after organizers were informed she would be 26 at the time of Miss World making her too old to compete. Despite besting 34 other beauty queens, Hughes will not represent Ireland in this summer.
In a similar case, Jenny Blanco who was to represent the Dominican Republic at Miss World, does not meet the competition’s age requirements either. Blanco is 27. Organizers in the Dominican Republic initially reported that an exception was going to be made for Blanco to compete but recent reports confirm this is not true.
Where do you stand on the issue? We’d love to hear what you think and ask that you remain honest yet kind in your remarks!