Karl Stefanovic defends bikini pageant contestants

Rebekah Scanlan
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Karl Stefanovic has weighed in on the debate around beauty pageants, following the news Miss America will no longer be judging their entrants whilst wearing swimsuits.

The Today Show host was discussing the decision in a segment with news reader Sylvia Jeffreys and co-host Georgie Gardner, when he voiced his defence for the beauty contest that launched more than 50 years ago.

“If a woman chooses to be in a bikini pageant, isn’t that her choice?” he said.

Karl Stefanovic has weighed in debate surrounding beauty pageants after news Miss America are axing the swimsuit. Source: Nine

His views followed Sylvia’s opinion that the scrapping swimmers was a “step in the right direction” as Georgie added she thought the competition was “outdated”.

“But I guess if they’re not being judged on appearance, then I guess the entire concept of the beauty pageant should be thrown out all together,” Sylvia said.

At this point Karl stepped up, appearing to oppose the view that bikini competitions no longer had a place.

Sylvia Jeffreys appeared to feel awkward surrounding Karl’s comments, but said she “absolutely” agreed it was a woman’s choice. Source: Nine

Sylvia — who is married to his younger brother Peter — appeared to be surprised by his remarks, agreeing it is “absolutely” a woman’s right to choose.

However she said that if organisers wanted to “be seen celebrating all shapes and sizes” then perhaps the contest no longer had a “point at all”.

“So, you’re saying get rid of beauty pageants?” Karl continued.

The Miss America competition has included a bikini round for over 50 years. Source: Getty

While Karl didn’t clarify why he felt so strongly on the swimsuit decision, his fiancée Jasmine Yarbrough has worked as a bikini model in the past.

Before the 34-year-old was the crème de la crème of style, she strutted her stuff on catwalks in lingerie and swimwear.

Jasmine started her career modelling in lingerie and swimmers, seen here at Australian Fashion Week in 2010. Source: Getty

Miss America’s chairwoman Gretchen Carlson made the announcement that the bikini would be getting the boot earlier in the day, saying “we will no longer judge our candidates on their outward appearance”.

It’s a stark contrast from the former owner of the beauty contest, Donald Trump’s, views.

Donald Trump historically wanted the bikini’s to be skimpier than ever. Source: Getty

Back the now president purchased the competition in 2005, he said his plan to boost ratings was to make “bathing suits to be smaller”.

We can’t wait to see the new format.

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