Miss Universe Pakistan Erica Robin faces backlash for her burkini choice

Erica Robin

Pakistan’s first ever Miss Universe contestant, Erica Robin, has announced that she will wear a burkini, a modest swimsuit that covers most of the body, in the upcoming pageant in El Salvador. The 24-year-old Christian model from Karachi said she made this decision to respect the culture and values of her country, which is predominantly Muslim. However, her choice has sparked a wave of criticism and controversy from conservative groups and politicians, who have called her participation in the beauty contest “shameful” and “un-Islamic”.

Erica Robin

A historic moment for Pakistan

Erica Robin was selected as Miss Universe Pakistan from among five finalists at a competition held in the Maldives in September. It was organised by Dubai-based Yugen Group, which also owns the franchise rights to Miss Universe Bahrain and Miss Universe Egypt. The group said it received an “overwhelming” number of applications from Pakistani women who wanted to represent their country on the global stage.

This is the first time in the 72-year history of Miss Universe that Pakistan has nominated a representative for the prestigious event. Ms Robin said she was honoured and excited to be the pioneer for her nation. She said she wanted to show the world the positive and beautiful side of Pakistan, away from the negativity and hate that some media outlets portray.

“I want to change this mindset that Pakistan is a backward country. We have so many talented and amazing women who are doing great things in different fields. I want to be their voice and inspire them to follow their dreams,” she told The National.

A backlash from conservatives

However, not everyone in Pakistan shares Ms Robin’s enthusiasm and pride. Her nomination has triggered a fierce backlash from conservative groups and some political figures, who have accused her of violating the Islamic values and norms of the country.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, a religious right-wing group, called her participation in the pageant “shameful” and demanded that the government take action against her. He said that beauty contests were against the teachings of Islam and the culture of Pakistan, and that they promoted obscenity and vulgarity.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul-Haq Kakar also ordered an investigation into the matter, saying that he was unaware of how Ms Robin was selected as Miss Universe Pakistan. He said that he would not allow anyone to tarnish the image and reputation of the country.

Many online users, especially men, also expressed their anger and disgust at Ms Robin’s nomination. They called her names such as “traitor”, “infidel”, “slut” and “whore”. They also criticised her for being a Christian, saying that she did not represent the majority of Pakistanis who are Muslims.

A burkini to respect the culture

Ms Robin said she was saddened and hurt by the negative reactions she received from some people in her country. She said she did not understand why they were so hostile and intolerant towards her. She said she respected the culture and values of Pakistan, and that she would not do anything to offend or dishonour them.

She also confirmed that she would wear a burkini, a modest swimsuit that covers most of the body, in the swimsuit segment of the pageant. She said she made this choice to show her respect for the Islamic dress code and to avoid any controversy or criticism.

“I don’t want to create any problems or conflicts for myself or my country. I want to be respectful and dignified. I also want to prove that beauty is not about showing skin or being sexy. It is about being confident, smart and compassionate,” she said.

She added that she hoped that people would support her and appreciate her efforts to represent Pakistan in a positive way. She said she wanted to make her country proud and happy.

“I hope that people will see me as a human being first, not as a Christian or a woman or a model. I hope that they will see me as a Pakistani who loves her country and wants to do something good for it,” she said.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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