Is it exploitation or female empowerment? Throw in a stunning woman in skimpy clothing and the issue can get a bit muddled.
]]><![CDATA[Adding an extra level of depth -- and irony -- to the story is that this year's swimsuits are the work of Iranian designer Tala Raassi, who has personal experience being judged for what she wears.
“On her sixteenth birthday, in Iran, while celebrating her birthday,
she took off her more conservative garb and was wearing a mini dress
and someone contacted the religious police,” Paula Shugart, president
of the Miss Universe Organization, tells Zap2it. “And she received 40
lashes while her parents watched.
“She wanted to be a swimsuit designer
because they represent freedom to her. She was punished for her
See women from 82 countries help Raassi express this freedom on Monday,
Aug. 23 when the Miss Universe pageant airs on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.
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Photo credit: Miss Universe