Miss World CEO Julia Morley says ‘we are staying as we are’
MANILA, Philippines—The world of pageantry is shaking up with developments from different competitions, the latest of which is the Miss Universe Organization’s (MUO) decision to lift its maximum age cap. But as far as the Miss World pageant is concerned, they will not be implementing any changes for now.
“I hear lots of things about people moving here and there and everywhere. We’re staying as we are,” Miss World Organization (MWO) CEO Julia Morley said at a recent press conference hosted by the Miss World Philippines Organization (MWPH) at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Quezon City. She arrived in the country on Sept. 20 with reigning titleholder Karolina Bielawska from Poland.
“We now have 142 nations coming together. And the reason is, they know us, they know our rules, they know our regulations, and we don’t make any pretense about who we are, what we are,” continued Morley, whose late husband Eric founded the Miss World pageant in 1951.
“You know what we are. You know what it is. Every mother knows her child is with us, and they’re going to enjoy a safe time,” said Morley of the 72-year-old London-based international competition. The Miss World pageant accepts participants between the ages of 17 and 27.
She also reminded people to “keep our feet on the ground,” and said messing around with people’s “lives and stuff” does not work. “We are not God. We have to behave with respect. We keep to our rules, don’t mess around. You know what you’re getting, we know what we’re receiving. And that’s how it is,” she explained.
“I love you all individually, and respect you all. But don’t mess around with ‘age here, age there, boy here, girl there.’ You’re all big boys. Allow each other to work together, learn from each other, not be deliberately trying to seek publicity that, frankly, is detrimental to human kind,” Morley continued.
She also asked the public to “leave us alone. Let us be Miss World, let us be proud of it, let us be Mister World and be proud of it.” MWO organizes both international competitions for men and women. The male contest was founded in 1996, 45 years after the establishment of the ladies’ tilt.
Morley and Bielawska are in the Philippines to take part in the opening of a learning hub in Tondo, Manila, under the “Beauty with a Purpose” project of reigning Miss World Philippines Gwendolyne Fourniol with ERDA (Educational Research and Development Assistance) dubbed “Bridge the Gap, Build the Future.”
The two guests will also visit Fr. Marciano “Rocky” Evangelista and his Tuloy Foundation, which has been taking care of street children since 1993. MWO has been supporting the Salesian priest’s initiative for more than a decade already, and Morley renewed her commitment to help. Bielawska, for her part, said it is in line with her advocacy of raising awareness on homelessness.
Bielawska will finally relinquish her title to her successor, almost two years since capturing the crown, at the 72nd Miss World pageant on Dec. 16 in India. Fourniol will try to become the second Filipino woman to win the competition, after Megan Young’s victory in 2013. /ra