Julia Morley's Exclusive Interview by Times of India

Julia Morley: “You can be 5’1″ and still win Miss World”

Miss World 2011 Ivian Sarcos Julia Morley India

In an exclusive interview to the Times of India, Miss World president Julia Morley dispelled myths about the Miss World competition, which is now on its 62nd year.

Over a cup of tea at the JW Marriott, Mumbai, we met Julia Morley, Chairperson of the Miss World Organisation. The age-defying 70-year-old is here to be a part of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2012 contest. Energetic and spirited to the core, she dispels a few myths about beauty pageants and tells us how the Miss World contest has evolved in the last 62 years.

The Miss World contest is the oldest beauty pageant and is in its 62nd year. How does it feel to have taken a contest with modest beginnings to such a massive global scale?

It’s a wonderful feeling to create something so incredible that brings so many young people, from various parts of the world, together on the same platform.

You are the one who brought in the concept of ‘beauty with a purpose’. How did that happen?

We started out in the ’50s; it was the post-war period and there were a lot of celebrations due. People wanted to see only beauty all around. Secondly, men used to organise the event. As you know, men always try to bring in their own flavour. I came in to help, because my husband (the late Eric Morley) wanted me to get involved. But as a woman, it seemed to me that it would be a waste to have such a huge platform without any constructive thought put into it. Not everyone in those times had the material to look good. Beauty is a superficial thing anyway. Even if you are the most beautiful in the world, you are going to get used to your face at some point. Where do you go from there? Eventually, you will get bored of your face.

Do you think contestants look beyond beauty?

What I have come to realise about 18-19-year-olds is that they are flexible, open to any idea and are not as dramatic as older people. They are still trying to be the person they want to be. If you can plant a seed of idea in their heads at that time, it will only flourish. Also, there is this huge misunderstanding that the Miss World needs to save the world. No one can save the world or all its children. What you need to do is look around you and make a difference in one person’s life or a few people’s lives. It can be your own grandfather, or an old age home or a child that you feel for, whom you see on the road everyday. We want young girls to realise and use this platform to enrich their lives and few others along the way.

Why is it that only tall and gorgeous women are part of the contest?

You tell me, I am baffled to see so many tall women in the contest and I have often wondered that myself. When I go to Korea, or any other part of Asia, I don’t see too many tall women. I haven’t got an answer to that myself yet. Another thing that bothers me is that we see a lot of unrealistic pictures of beautiful women on magazine covers. This happens because cover designers from all over the world are men. So they see women in a certain way, which has become the only accepted form of beauty. It is just sad. You can be 5’1″ and still win the Miss World contest. In the year 1963, Miss Jamaica, Carole Joan Crawford, won the title and she was just 5’3″! So there is a misconception.

What do you think stands out about Indian contestants like Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Diana Hayden and Yukta Mookhey?

Like India, which is such a diverse country, each of these women are also different from one another. They all come with their unique personalities. They all had the spark that we were looking for.

* SOURCE: Times of India


"To God be the Glory".