09 August 2009
Miss Indonesia Zivanna Letisha Siregar in a two-piece swimsuit
It's good to see Miss Indonesia Universe Zivanna Letisha Siregar in a two-piece swimsuit. Since 2005, Indonesian girls to any international beauty pageants always have chosen the "more conservative" one-piece swimwear than the "more revealing" two-piece. Indonesian girls wearing swimsuits can face public ridicule and government restrictions. This is in fact the reason why Indonesia, the biggest Muslim nation in the world, did not actively participate in beauty pageants in the past.
In 1996, Alya Rohali was forced to withdraw from Miss Universe when she was shown wearing the bikini. The following year, Indonesia stopped sending their girls to Miss U until 2004.
In 2005, when largest archipelago in the world resumed joining Miss U, the Indonesians publicly denounced Artika Sari Devi and warned her the consequences if she was seen parading in a swimsuit. That was one of the most anticipated events during the Miss U pageant in Thailand. But Artika was so brave that she defied all odds and went on to become the only Asian at the Final Top 15.
After the pageant, many feared for her life if she would return back home. But she came home safely.
I guess, the legacy of Artika paved the way for the Indonesian to accept or embrace swimsuit competitions in beauty pageants. Since then, Indonesia regularly participated at the Miss Universe pageant.
Going back to Zivanna, she has one of the freshest faces among all the ladies competing in Bahamas for the 58th edition of the pageant. She is one of Asia's front-runners in the beauty department. So, if she duplicates Artika's fate in 2005, it won't be a surprise.
You can check Zivann's long gown and national costume here.
Last year, at the 2008 Miss Universe in Vietnam, Putri Raemawasti was the first one to wear the two-piece.