- (Reuters/Paul Hackett)
Contestants in Indonesia's 2013 Miss World pageant are banned from wearing bikinis during the swimsuit round, according to new stipulations this week.
Event's organizers announced Thursday that this year's contest would now require the beauty queens to wear more modest swimwear such as sarongs or other beach fashions.
The new mandate is the direct result of protests from hardline Muslim groups who complain that the swimsuit round is offensive to Indonesian culture, according to CBS News. Because the pageant is being held in one of the world's most populous Muslim countries, organizers reevaluated the swimwear requirements for the 137 participants.
"I don't want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful," Miss World Organization chairwoman Julia Morley said speaking to Australia's Herald Sun. "We treasure respect for all the countries that take part in the pageant."
Furthermore, Adjie S. Soeratmadjie, one of the local organizers, explained the subtraction of the traditional bikinis in the competition.
He said that the London-based Miss World Organization wants to "respect our traditional customs and values," according to Fox News.
"This is a sensitive issue in Indonesia," Soeratmadjie added. "We have discussed it since last year and they have agreed."
On Twitter, Miss World pageant fans sounded off on the new "bikini ban."
"Few words make me angrier than 'bikini ban,'" wrote Eduardo.
Younes posted, "#Respect : the miss world beauty pageant is banning the bikini competition."
While the news has been met with mixed reactions, chairwoman Morley still promised an exciting beachwear fashion show during the pageant.
"Indonesia is designing for us a very beautiful one-piece beachwear, and I'm very happy with them," she told the Associated Press by phone.
"I don't think Indonesia is the only country that has that culture," Morley added. "But we like to work in the manner respectful to every country, and I cannot see why when you go to somebody's country you should not behave respectfully."
The pageant is scheduled to take place on Sept. 28.