A 33-year-old mother of two was crowned Miss Germany in a revamped contest which organisers say focused on a woman’s conviction and personality rather than her looks, ditching the classic swimsuit walk.
Dressed in a black trousersuit, Anja Kallenbach, already Miss Thuringia, prevailed against the candidates from the 15 other German states in the final of the “Empowering Authentic Women” contest, broadcast over Youtube on Saturday evening.
In the face of criticism that such contests are sexist, outmoded and reinforce mysoginistic attitudes, other organisers, including those of Miss United States, have also dropped features as the swimsuit competition.
The Miss Germany organiser said that the women aged between 18 and 39 needed to show that “they have a clear goal in mind and are committed to a better tomorrow.”
The candidates included a woman fighting the ‘thin is beautiful’ ideal, another focused on informing the public about the downsides of religious sects and a third is an activist fighting gender pay gaps.