Muna Jama, a London-based Muslim model, has become the first Miss Universe Great Britain contestant to not wear a bikini to the swimsuit round.
Twenty-seven-year old Muna Jama from Forest Gate, East London, shocked the world when she walked onto the stage at the Miss Universe Great Britain pageant’s swimsuit round covered up in a colorful robe.
The Muslim woman with Somali origins had been invited to be a contestant at the finals of the competition, but agreed to participate only after pageant officials agreed that she could “wear a cover-up if she chose.”
“This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed. I thank everyone who stood beside me and believed in my vision.” Muna Jama she posted on Instagram.
It takes bravery, emotional resilience and most importantly surrounding yourself with strong minded people who are prepared to make great sacrifices to welcome permanent and positive change. I may not be able to unwrite a moment in my life but I know a moment will never define me. I will always rise above your expectations and pushed past your limitations. You are what you say you are, and your imaginations can be your worst enemy unless you overcome your fears. Be careful of what you think of others because it's a reflection of what you are. Work at being a better person, and one day we can welcome a better World. This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed. I thank everyone who stood beside me and believed in my vision. 🙏🙌❤😘😙😘😍🙆😊💓 ___ #missuniverse #mugb2017 #missuniversegb #fear #migrant #refugee #positive #change #love #modelling #friends #family #girls #pageant #empowerment #inspiration #inspire #aspire #history #munajama #caftan #kaftan #stage #london #dubai #love #indonesia #malaysia @missuniversegb Photographer @leedarephotography
She had been invited to participate at the Miss Universe GB two years earlier, but chose not to participate as she felt uncomfortable walking the stage in a bikini.
“I wouldn’t wear a bikini to a beach, so I’m not going to wear one in a competition to score points,” Jama she told Metro UK.
Instead, Muna came out on stage clad in a vibrant and colorful kaftan, sporting black platform heels, hoop earrings and a silver choker.
Besides being a stunning beauty queen, Jama is the co-founder and creative director of Cloudless Research, a startup concerned with why people in Africa resort to illegal migration.
“We aim to reduce the number of victims channeling the Mediterranean Sea through education and encouraging new legislations in the country of origin,” says her bio on the Miss Universe GB website.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) June 2, 2017
Back in 2016, Halima Aden, an American-based model of Somali origin, made history by wearing a hijab to the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.
During the swimsuit segment of the competition, Aden wore a burkini, a type of swimwear that covers the entire body.
Despite not winning, Jama said that she felt “like a winner” and is “proud to have come this far with the pleasure to share the stage with all these incredible women.”
Miss Universe Great Britain is a competition used to select Britain’s representative at the global Miss Universe pageant. It is open to women aged between 18 and 27, meaning this year was Jama’s first and last participation.