The Philippine franchise holder for the Miss World beauty pageant railed on Friday against what she called “a smear campaign” after sexy photos of the country’s bet, Megan Young, resurfaced online two days before the coronation night in Bali, Indonesia.
Cory Quirino believes the pictures, which were part of a March 2012 cover shoot for high-end men’s magazine Rogue, were brought to the attention of a British news site by a Filipino source.
“There has been a smear campaign by a negligible sector of the Philippine pageant industry to destroy Megan’s chances for a win in Miss World,” Quirino said in a text message to InterAksyon.
“In Bali, the mood and aura around Megan is positive and promising. I believe [Miss World chair] Mrs. Julia Morley has explicitly answered this one relentless Anti-Miss World Philippines person or group to stop emailing the Miss World office as they are proud of all the candidates, including Megan,” she added.
Quirino appealed to fellow Filipinos to support Young’s bid to bring home the Philippines’ first Miss World crown.
“My request to all our countrymen is to consider the honor the Miss World crown would bring to the country [if Megan Young wins]. Let’s join hands now to prove that the Bayanihan spirit is strong, alive and above all, genuine,” she said.
Topless photos from Young’s Rogue cover shoot have reportedly drawn the ire of Miss World fans. This was reported by the UK edition of online publication International Business Times Thursday and was picked up by several online sites, including FashionPulis.com.
It was posted one day after the official website of Miss World announced that the 23-year-old Filipino-American actress from Olongapo is ranked number two in the online voting for the pageant’s People’s Champion competition.
Megan, who also made it to the Top 10 of the prestigious beauty contest’s Beach Fashion and Top Model challenges, is widely considered to be a serious contender for the Miss World crown—the very first for the Philippines if she wins it all at the coronation night this Saturday in Bali, Indonesia.
“Rules are rules when it comes to the Miss World beauty contest it seems that contestants’ taking their clothes off is a clear breach of the laws. A beauty queen is somebody that is a good role model inside and out and obviously is a beautiful person. It’s not just about exterior beauty; a beauty queen has to have outstanding morals, elegance, femininity and class. And that’s what everybody thinks it is. Beauty queens should be seen as role models not sex object,” the IBCTimes UK quoted an anonymous user who wrote to their news site.
“Will an Indonesian group of religious and feminist launch a protest on Megan Young’s naked pictures? How will Miss World Organization and Indonesian government handle this issue?” the user further asked in the same report.
The photos, taken by Mark Nicdao for local high-end men’s magazine Rogue, first appeared online last year after the magazine came out. None of the topless photos exposed Megan’s breast as the actress is shown either sitting sideways or lying with her back facing the camera.
Since Megan entered the Miss World 2013 pageant as the official Philippine representative, no one has raised an issue about the photos until the recent IBCTimes UK report.
This is the second time in the same month that the beauty contestant is rocked with a controversy involving its contestants.
Earlier this month, Miss Uzbekistan Rakhima Ganieva was exposed by government officials of the country she is representing of being an imposter.
In reports believed to be first posted by DailyMail.co.uk last September 13 and later picked by several online news sites including ABC News, officials at the Uzbek Culture and Sports Ministry and the National Committee on Women of Uzbekistan claimed that the 18-year-old Ganieva was never officially selected as a candidate for Miss World.
The reports said that the same authorities are saying that they did not even held a beauty contest for this purpose which contradicts Ganieva’s claim in her “introduction video” that she won the title of Miss Uzbekistan last July 20.
“Rakhima Ganieva never passed through any special selection process in Uzbekistan,” the same reports quoted Zhavlon Komolov of the Pro Models modeling agency where Ganieva once trained. “If there had been a process to choose a young lady for this competition, I can assure you that a much more beautiful model would have been chosen.”
Despite these reports, both Megan Young and Rakhima Ganieva remain contestants for Miss World. Unlike Miss Philippines, however, Miss Uzbekistan has not figured prominently in the various competitions or fast-track challenges in the early rounds of the pageant.