Skip to main content

Miss Fiji deemed 'not Fijian enough' on Facebook, stripped of crown

A schoolgirl beauty queen was stripped of her crown after the decision to name her "Miss Fiji" sparked outrage on the basis that she doesn't look "native" enough.
Torika Watters (above), 16, a "kailoma" or person of mixed European/Fijian heritage, was chosen by the Miss World franchise last month, with a judging panel that included New Zealand model Rachel Hunter, once married to Rod Stewart.
After Watters was named, the Miss Fiji Facebook site had to delete hundreds of comments, saying "violent or racist comments will not be tolerated," reported.
Among them was that Watters should have a "buiniga", the naturally-fuzzy hairstyle of the Pacific island nation, The London Telegraph reported.
Racial division is deep-seated in Fiji's social and political history, according to NewsCore.
Watters said she had originally been delighted to accept the title.
"I am proud of my identity as a Fijian and have never considered my people as racists."
Watters said Miss World Fiji pageant director Andhy Blake told her that according to the British-based Miss World organization, contestants had to be at least 16 years and 11 months at the time of the pageant.
Watters said this had not been the case when she was asked to enter, and she was now pulling out.
"I was worried about the lies, the deception, the lack of transparency and the lack of professionalism," she said in a statement, adding that she did not do anything "sneaky or wrong."
"I would like to state that I have had no involvement in any of this underhand process and that I have been blind to this entire drama going on behind the scenes," she said.
"I had no knowledge of any pre-selection or pre-judging."
One of the judges, Hupfeld Hoerder, reportedly told Mai Life magazine the result may have been pre-determined before the show.
Watters had not been in the top three, Hoerder said, but Blake said he wanted her "and that since he was the one who spent a lot of time with the girls, he knew who should be the one."
"Torika is the innocent one here. Through all this she's been victimized," Hoerder said.
Blake told the Fiji Times that the Miss World committee had been very happy with his work and "really that's a testament in itself". 

A runner-up, Koini Vakaloloma (above), 24, will now represent Fiji at the Miss World contest in Mongolia later in the year.
Vakaloloma is Fiji born and, according to the FijiLive website, is of Guajarati/French mix and speaks seven languages.
She was adopted by an indigenous Fijian family at birth.
"Being an ambassador for your country is not an easy task but it comes with responsibilities and more sacrifice," Vakaloloma said after Watters issued an angry statement.

SOURCE:, 5/13/2012
Related stories:


Popular posts from this blog

Trans-Identified Male Crowned “Miss Greater Derry 2023,” Takes Home Women’s Scholarship

A local beauty pageant is attracting ample mockery on social media after a trans-identified male was crowned the winner of the competition and awarded a scholarship intended for young women. Brían Nguyen , 19, was awarded the crown in the Miss Greater Derry pageant, held on November 8 in the Greater Derry area of New Hampshire. The competition is a locally-run event under the national Miss America series of pageants. In addition to winning the crown, Nguyen will receive the  Miss Greater Derry Scholarship , a financial award established to support young women. Nguyen, who is male, is a freshman at Nashua Community College majoring in Business Management. After his win, Nguyen wrote on  Facebook : “ I am ecstatic to be the FIRST transgender woman to be a Miss America local titleholder, and I hope to make everyone proud and become the first to walk the Miss America stage. I am Brían Nguyen, your Miss Greater Derry 2023 .” Nguyen had previously announced on Instagram that he has intention

Miss America CEO & Others Resign Amid Scandal Over Offensive Emails – Update

2nd UPDATE, 12:03 PM:  Miss America Organization  CEO  Sam Haskell  resigned his post today amid an investigation into offensive emails he sent about a pageant winner. In a statement He has resigned along with president and COO Josh Randle and Lynn Weidner, the board chair who sent emails involved in the controversy. Related Two More Ex-Fox News Employees Join Defamation Suit Against Bill O'Reilly - Update According to a Twitter post from Dan Meyers, who is taking over as interim chairman, Weidner will remain on the board during a transition period: View image on Twitter Miss America Org ✔ @MissAmericaOrg Update from the Board of Directors... 3:01 PM - Dec 23, 2017   35 35 Replies     144 144 Retweets     291 291 likes Twitter Ads info and privacy UPDATED, 5:30 PM:  The Miss America Organization suspended its chief executive today, less than 24 hours after emails surfaced in which he disparaged the

Miss USA Vice-President Max Sebrechts Accused Of Sexual Harassment

IMAGE COURTESY: MISS ACADEMY  Max Sebrechts, the husband of Crystle Stewart, President of Miss USA organization (and formerly Miss USA 2008), has been accused of sexual improprieties by several Miss USA 2021 contestants, according to a YouTube video “Miss USA Scandal?” by Natly Denise, a “truther and pop-culture enthusiast.” You can watch the entire video here: On her video, Natly displays a screenshot  of an anonymous email sent to the affiliates of IMG/Endeavor including to Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO). The email was cc’d to Crystle and Michael Hannah (franchise director of Miss USA). The author of the email claims that MUO has been sent substantial evidence of Sebrechts’ sexual predatory behavior and Shugart has known about it for a while but didn’t say anything (obviously to cover it up and to protect Crystle). Natly also displays screenshots of direct messages sent to her by former Miss USA contestants (the names hav