Miss Great Britain bans bikini

Updated: Nov 06, 2010, 08:57 AM IST

London: The Miss Great Britain beauty contest is changing itself to suit the modern times and has become the first national pageant to allow unmarried mothers and divorcees to participate.

To promote equal opportunity to women of all ages, the organisers have also banned bikinis, with a return to a one-piece swimsuit round.

"The beauty contest used to be run by men wanting to see young virginal girls they could fantasise about. With the new rules, we are attempting to bring Ms Great Britain into the 21st century," the pageant organisers said in a statement.

Among the entries this year, five single mothers have made it to the final

The move makes a change from the former rigid rules of the contest.

Welsh winner Helen Morgan, from Barry, caused a storm of controversy and was forced to resign four days after her victory in 1974, when it was discovered she had an 18-month-old son.

There are 60 regional beauty queens lined up for the final this year.