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Scandal erupts in Miss Universe Indonesia 2023: Finalists speak out on coerced body checks and privacy invasion

The Miss Universe Indonesia 2023 competition faces turmoil as finalists J and R accuse organizers of coercing them into compromising body checks and invasive photography.

The allegations have sparked a debate about privacy and ethics in beauty pageants, prompting investigations into the unsettling incidents.



INDONESIA: The Miss Universe Indonesia 2023 competition has been overshadowed by allegations of misconduct involving two finalists, who have been identified using the initials J and R.

Organizers’ reports have exposed unsettling claims of coerced body inspections and invasive photography.

According to accounts provided by the finalists, an incident occurred where they were allegedly forced to undergo a strip-down in the presence of male individuals (1 Aug).

Rizky Ananda Musa, the Province Director of West Java and also a member of the jury, expressed her dismay at the situation.

She recounted that the victims were coerced into exposing themselves, even in the presence of men.

“It was very disheartening when they told me about being compelled to remove their bras. Despite the presence of two to three men, they were coerced into opening their bras. ”

“This led to a situation where they were completely unclothed. Even though the sexual orientation of the man involved is suspected to be gay, he is still a man in my view,” stated Rizky at Polda Metro Jaya (the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Police) on Monday (7 Aug).

The attorney representing the victim, Mellisa Anggraini, stressed that the sexual orientation of the men involved was not the central issue.

Rather, the focus was on the fact that the incident caused severe discomfort for the victim.

Mellisa further pointed out that photographs taken during the body-checking process were susceptible to misuse and unauthorized distribution.

The victim expressed concerns that the compromising photographs might be circulated without consent.

Mellisa highlighted the necessity for body checks to be conducted in a private setting and carried out by personnel of the same gender.

She criticized the fact that the body checking took place in a hotel ballroom that was only minimally shielded by banners and clothes hangers.

Initially intended as a fitting session for the contestants, the sudden introduction of a body-checking procedure caught the participants off guard.

Mellisa argued that the alleged actions taken against the Miss Universe Indonesia finalists were in violation of the law.

As a response, a formal complaint was lodged with Polda Metro Jaya (the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Police).

 Customary nature of body checks

Renowned photographer Rio Motret, who formerly served as the visual director for Miss Universe Indonesia, acknowledged the customary nature of body checks within beauty pageants.

However, he observed significant deviations in the current scenario, shedding light on concerning discrepancies.

Rio Motret underscored the irregularities within the body-checking process, deeming them problematic for the Miss Universe Indonesia competition.

The allegations include participants being berated during the procedure, coerced into full nudity including exposing their breasts, and having their intimate body areas photographed.

Upon learning of these claims, Rio Motret, who was present at the same hotel, took swift action and intervened.

He confirmed that any photographs taken were promptly deleted to prevent irresponsible dissemination.

The first independent search for Miss Universe Indonesia

This year marks the inaugural edition of Miss Universe Indonesia’s independent quest to find representatives for the renowned Miss Universe event.

Previously, the license was under the purview of the Putri Indonesia Foundation.

Miss Universe Indonesia 2023 unfolded on 3 August at the Beach City International Stadium in Ancol, Jakarta.

Emerging as the victor from DKI Jakarta Province, Fabienne Nicole secured the title of Miss Universe Indonesia 2023. She triumphed over 29 finalists hailing from various regions across Indonesia.

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