The West

Miss World organisers may have caused a stir last week when they essentially banned bikinis from this year's international pageant but WA State finalist Jina Lee believes the move will help shift the focus on to other areas of the contest.

The announcement to swap barely- there swimwear for covered-up sarongs in the beach fashion section comes after lobbyists put pressure on the world's longest-running beauty pageant to present a more modest front for the final, which will be held in Muslim-majority Indonesia in September.

While rival pageant king Donald Trump, of Miss Universe, was quick to claim it would lead to a ratings disaster for Miss World, Lee says she hopes the decision will lead to more interest in the charity component of the program.

"Miss World did start off with bikinis but these days pageants are about so much more," the 19-year-old told AAA.

Now in its 62nd year, Miss World is underpinned by the motto "beauty with a purpose" and largely judges contestants based on their charity achievements rather than simply looks.

For the chance to progress to the national leg of the competition, WA State finalists have each been set a personal challenge to raise funds for the wish list of Lilla, a remote community in the Northern Territory.

Lee, who has taken part in various charity pursuits since the age of 10, says the contest is not solely concerned with looking good in an evening gown or bikini.

"They want girls to come up with their own ideas," she says.

"If entrants are just a pretty face they are only going to get so far.

"I think they pick a beautiful woman who can be a role model but people think they are beautiful because of their soul and what they represent."

The stunning redhead, who hails from Busselton, says her ideal venture would be to set up a sanctuary for animals where children can learn about protected species.

Though there is no staged event for the Miss World Australia WA State final, winners will be announced later this month and will compete at the national finals in Melbourne on July 27.

The West Australian

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