“Controversy Surrounds Miss Universe Indonesia: Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Organizers”

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Multiple Miss Universe Indonesia contestants have lodged formal complaints with the police, alleging instances of sexual abuse by the event’s organizers.

According to one of the contestants’ attorneys, the candidates were instructed to remove their tops for purported “body checks” and photographs, a mere two days before the scheduled finals on August 3rd.

The contestants claim that the organizers insisted on scrutinizing their bodies for any scars, cellulite, or tattoos, under the guise of examination.

Expressing her distress, one participant stated, “I perceive this as a violation of my rights. The ordeal has taken a toll on my mental well-being, disrupting my sleep patterns.” She and fellow complainants shared their accounts with the media earlier this week, with local TV blurring their faces to safeguard their identities.

Mellisa Anggraeni, the legal representative for three contestants who raised objections, revealed that numerous others are likely to step forward.

In response, the Jakarta police department released a statement affirming their commitment to a thorough investigation. Meanwhile, Poppy Capella, the owner of the Miss Universe Indonesia Organization, pledged to probe the allegations. The global Miss Universe Organization also conveyed its intention to address the issue, emphasizing its earnest approach toward allegations of sexual misconduct.

While body assessments are customary in the country, the act of contestants undressing is atypical. Maria Harfanti, a former Miss Indonesia, noted that organizers typically measure contestants’ BMI (body mass index) for body proportion evaluation.

During a press conference on Monday, one of the complainants disclosed that the body checks took place within an enclosed space, though several men were present. She added that the room’s door was not fully closed, allowing a view from outside.

Beauty pageants have been permitted in Indonesia for a long time, yet organizers exercise caution to avoid offending conservative segments of society. In 2013, the Miss World pageant eliminated its bikini segment when it was hosted in the predominantly Muslim nation.

Miss Universe, now in its 73rd iteration, enjoys popularity in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Victors often ascend to celebrity status and become influential figures on social media.

The franchise’s proprietor, Anne Jakrajutatip, a transgender woman and media magnate from Thailand, has been working to enhance the brand’s inclusivity by allowing married women, transgender women, and single mothers to participate.

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