The Woman behind the making of a successful Miss World who would happily give away the limelight for something better and who would rather let her work and team commitment towards helping the underprivileged speaks for her organization i.e. MWO, is Julia Morley. She is committed to her work, committed to bring Miss World organization to every nook and corner of the world and committed to make Miss World contestants use the platform they are entitled to for the betterment of the society.
The very beautiful Julia Morley was a model before she married the then director of Miss World Organization. She took over as chairwoman of Miss World Organization after her husband, Eric Morley, died in 2000. Ever since then Miss World has seen various changes in its format of selecting winners like dropping swimsuit section in the finale event or introducing the voting system or beauty with a purpose etc. The most important section of Miss World is Beauty with a Purpose also known as BWAP. Every year Contestants are asked to work for a project that helps the society or bring issues that concern the society. This way MWO works with its various partnering countries to leave something positive in the society. All this is the brainchild of Julia Morley.
The soft-spoken woman is also a strong will woman who knows what she wants for her organization and determined to make Miss World still relevant and a true reflection of the diversity of the world. After the death of her husband, Eric Morley, she took 5 million loan to keep afloat the organization and show the world that the Miss World was a reflection of celebrating womanhood, the diversity of the world, beauty queens were just like anyone who have a heart and desire to be there for the unfortunate and underprivileged. Julia brought many changes to the format of Miss World with the change of time. Swimsuit section was axed from the finale event in 2000. “I found it very out-dated to have girls gyrating on stage in their bikinis, so we got rid of it. It was a team decision, but something I felt strongly about,” she explains. “Some girls felt uncomfortable, they’re not trained dancers but doctors and nurses – so we swapped bikinis for a beach-wear round.” Beach beauty became a pre finale event along with Top Model, Sports, Talent and Multimedia. Besides these there were continental voting winners. But the best are the Beauty with a Purpose and Dances of the World. While BWAP helps to keep the positive legacy of MW introduced by Julia Morley herself, Dances of the World showcases the diversity of the world and the world gets to witness the vibrant cultures of the world.
Miss World has it shares of criticism too just like any other beauty pageants. The contest has been condemned as demeaning to women. E.g. In 1996 When Miss World was held in India, there was a massive protest or the recently held in Bali in 2013. During such moments, there’s a lot of pressure and certain amount of job comes with criticism but organizer Julia Morley takes it all in her stride. She is adamant that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. “Miss World empowers women – it gives them a voice,” says Julia. “And not just the 130 contestants, who get to network, learn, grow and have fun for the month-long contest and beyond. But women across the world who are represented.”
Many were in shocked when Julia decided to scrap bikini round fully from the Miss World contest from 2015. Many believed it to be a publicity gimmick while others says it will bring down the image of Miss World as a beauty pageant. But this is good considering Miss World is trying to change with times and trying to include and represent every woman of the world. Miss World has evolved as beauty pageant. It is not just about parading in high-end glamorous gown, attending the glitz and glamour event or going for red carpet, it is also about using the platform to bring awareness about the various problems human face and find solutions, integrate a business with social responsibilities, good intentions and global education. Julia is determined to show the world that the contest is more than staying in front of the mirror with lights, make up, fans and swimsuits. “I really don’t want—I don’t need to see women just walking up and down in bikinis. It doesn’t do anything for the woman. And it doesn’t do anything for any of us,” Mrs. Morley says. “I don’t care if someone has a bottom two inches bigger than someone else’s. We are really not looking at her bottom. We are really listening to her speak.” Julia has been championing the philanthropic works of Miss World travelling across the world with Miss World winners to address, execute, implement and share the various projects through Beauty with a Purpose Project. “Each Miss World contestant,” she explains, “brings a project from their native country as part of the Beauty with a Purpose campaign to generate awareness and. For the following twelve months these projects become the focus for the newly crowned Miss World, who will make visits and support the issues.” “I’m proud of what we do,” says Julia. “We work with incredible women – dentists who travel for miles to look after the teeth of the poverty-stricken; doctors committed to health and social problems. It’s fantastic to be able to support people.”
When Simon Cowell was given the 2010 Humanitarian Award at the Variety World Conference in Hollywood, he commented that Julia Morley should be collecting the award in his place for her work as a humanitarian. A few months later Julia Morley herself was given the Humanitarian Award by Variety of Ireland. She has been awarded numerous awards in recognition of her philanthropic works. She was honoured with Priyadarshini Academy’s Global Awards 2014 in Mumbai for her ‘Save the Children’ campaign. At the Golden Paulownia Awards held in Beijing, China, she was recognized for bringing international attention to China through the Miss World Finals, the first event of its kind to be held in the country, in Sanya in 2003-05, 2007 and 2010. It was also a recognition for the charity work at the heart of Miss World through ‘Beauty with a Purpose’, particularly with the visit made by Julia Morley and Miss World 2004 Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia, along with Jackie Chan and other entertainers from Hong Kong, to meet victims recovering from the 2004 Asian tsunami. These are just a few of the many awards and honours she received.
Notably, Miss World is one of the world’s biggest international networks covering more than 140 countries where it tries to make useful for the locals in many good ways. It is all because of the MWO and its teams and especially because of Julia Morley. She will continue to work tirelessly the incredible work she started giving Beauty, inner and out, a channel and purpose to do well. Aishwarya Rai Bachan while accepting her award at Miss World, 2014 perfectly sums up about Julia Morley, “We get the opportunity as title holders to wear the crown. We get the opportunity to be the face of the purpose and to deliver truly under the able guidance and the quiet channelling of this very positive energy through Julia.” She is someone who will fight for the good, fight for something that is true. She is an angel for Miss World and the people she has helped through her Beauty with a Purpose project.
Sources: Wikepedia, The Telegraph UK, HuffPost UK, thegaurdian.com, elle.com, globalbeauties.com, Beautywithapurpose.com