Thai Miss Universe Hopefuls Offend Buddhist Sensibilities in Bathing Suits

May 18, 2005

Source: Macleans

On May 18, 2005 Macleans reported, "Photos of bikini-clad Miss Universe contestants posing in front of a revered Buddhist temple have been removed from the pagaent's website after the Thai government complained that the pictures were offensive. The controversial images will also be edited out of a film to be shown during the globally televised final of the competition on May 31 in Bangkok, one of the pagaent organizers said on condition of anonymity. Women from 81 countries are vying for the Miss Universe title. Canada is being represented by Miss Universe Canada Natalie Glebova. The Torontonian won the Miss Universe Canada 2005 title at the final event held at Casino de Montreal on Jan. 25. The photos that caused offence featured some of the pagaent hopefuls wearing swimsuits on a boat in Bangkok's Chao Phraya river with Wat Arun - the famous Temple of the Dawn - in the background. 'This is against the way of life and beliefs of Buddhists and we strongly disagree with it,' said Preecha Gunteeya, secretary general of the Culture Ministry's religious affairs department."