"There didn't seem to be a purpose to have the swimsuit," says the organization's national director

By Gabrielle Olya
Updated December 19, 2014 04:30 PM
Credit: Mark Cristino/Corbis

For the first time in 63 years, Miss World contestants will not be showing off their bodies in bikinis as they compete for the crown.

“The organization has decided to take itself out of the swimsuit world because it isn’t the path they’re trying to take,” Chris Wilmer, the national director of Miss World America/Miss United States organization, told ABC News. “It’s not just a beauty contest, it’s ‘beauty with a purpose.’ There didn’t seem to be a purpose to have the swimsuit.”

Instead, the Miss World organization plans on focusing more on contestants’ dedication to charity work.

Miss World should be “more of an ambassador, not a beauty queen,” said Wilmer. “It’s more about the outreach and what a woman could do with a title like Miss World.”

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of bikinis on the Miss World stage. The pageant will now include a “beachwear” round, though Wilmer explains that “it’ll be more of a fashion competition than a bikini show.”

The announcement comes on the heels of crowning Miss World 2014 last Sunday. This year’s honor went to Miss South Africa, Rolene Strauss.

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