New Miss Universe owner says women are ‘not sex symbols’ as pageant retains swimsuit round | Inquirer Entertainment

New Miss Universe owner says women are ‘not sex symbols’ as pageant retains swimsuit round

/ 11:45 AM January 04, 2023

MUO owner Anne Jakrajutatip


MANILA, Philippines — While the Miss World and Miss America pageants already did away with the swimsuit round for several years now, the Miss Universe competition remains to be one of the many beauty contests that continues to parade their candidates in swimwear before the audience. For the global tilt’s 71st edition taking place in the United States this month, the segment’s focus will be fitness.

For many spectators, the swimsuit competition is one of the most awaited events of the pageant. And the new Miss Universe owner wants to take advantage of this portion’s popularity by using it as another platform to introduce her “transformational leadership” in the beloved brand.


Media mogul Anne Jakrajutatip of Bangkok-based JKN Global Group, who acquired full ownership of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) in October last year, shared in a recent interview with Thai media that the global tilt will not allow beauty queens to do sexy dances wearing only swimsuits. “Stop using women as sex symbols,” she said.


Jakrajutatip, the first female and non-American to own the pageant organization, said viewers should watch it with a “purpose,” and have “meaning” to it. “My aim is to make this stage become just as splendid as the Academy Awards’ stages, or even the equivalent of the Olympics for beauty,” she continued in Thai.

Referring to the swimsuit competition, she said, “you have to do it better, with class, that will empower you to want to look after your body and being healthy, becoming a good standard of what a woman should be.”

In earlier interviews, Jakrajutatip emphasized her plan to use transformational leadership in steering the MUO back to its former glory, by maximizing the Miss Universe brand’s popularity, diversifying to merchandising and product development, strengthening its global media foothold, and introducing several other changes.

Late last year, Jakrajutatip unveiled a new crown designed by Mouawad reportedly worth $6 million for the 71st Miss Universe pageant, as well as a new “sustainable” sash made from post-consumer material, both ushering in changes for the pageant and setting the tone for the direction on where it is heading to.

In her recent interview, Jakrajutatip also shared updates on the ongoing pageant in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the US.

Luluvision will be back on board to produce the contest with an estimated budget of $9 million. One of the first official events of the pageant will be the grand launch of the “Miss Universe drinking water” in Thailand.


The judging panel will be composed of all women, and a female host will be introduced soon, Jakrajutatip also shared.

She clarified that she will not have a hand in choosing the winner, and will only appear in activities every now and then. She will also watch the closed-door interview of the delegates from a “dark room” where she will not be visible to the interviewees.

MUO has already secured host countries for the next three installments of the global tilt, that will all run for a month. The ongoing competition is technically the pageant’s 2022 edition, and another contest will be mounted later this year to serve as the 2023 Miss Universe competition.

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Miss Universe Philippines Celeste Cortesi

Miss Universe Philippines Celeste Cortesi/MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES PHOTO

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TAGS: Anne Jakrajutatip, Celeste Cortesi, Miss Universe, swimsuit competition

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