Miss Bahamas Organisation Hits Back At Claims Over Rejected Costume


Tomii Culmer in the costume designed by Javotte Bethel.

THE Miss Bahamas Organisation has responded to criticism on social media on the costume to be used by Miss Universe Bahamas Tomii Culmer at the next Miss Universe pageant.

The group was involved in some controversy over its decision not to use the Sea Goddess costume created by local designer Javotte Bethel. The organisation was criticised for the move and some speculated that a design inspired by Trinidad’s Carnival would be used instead.

However, the organisation denied this and said another Bahamian designer has been selected to create a costume for the pageant winner.

“There are structural issues with Ms Bethel’s costume which would make it very difficult for Ms Culmer to manage in a competitive environment – specifically, she is unable to get into or out of the costume without considerable help from at least two people.

“A greater problem exists in the fact that due to its excessive weight - the costume leaves Ms Culmer visibly bruised each time she wears it. Clearly we cannot have her competing in the Miss Universe pageant (particularly the swimsuit competition) with visible bruises that would result from her wearing the said costume.”

The group’s statement said it also decided to forego Ms Bethel’s costume due to its likeness to one of the lead pieces of the international Victoria’s Secret fashion show and subsequent fears over possible copyright infringement.

“We find it unfortunate and quite frankly dishonest for it to be suggested that MBO does not support Bahamian culture or Bahamian designers when Ms Bethel herself was contracted to create three of the costumes that MBO has sent to Miss Universe over the last four years,” the statement said. “Miss Bethel created the Flamingo worn by Braneka Bassett in 2010, the Abaco Parrot worn by Anastagia Pierre in 2011, and the independence themed costume worn by Lexi Wilson in 2013.

“It has also been dishonestly suggested that the costume which Ms Culmer will wear is Trinidad inspired, or was created by a Trinidadian design team. We wish to go on record in stating that Ms Culmer’s costume – entitled the Bahama Parrot, is the creation of Bahamian designer Apryl Burrows and her all-Bahamian design team.

“Finally, it should be noted that at no time did MBO indicate that the winning costume from the Miss Universe Bahamas competition would be used at Miss Universe, although it was clearly widely assumed that it would be. However, MBO has never sent the winning costume from the national pageant to the Miss Universe stage in the four years since it was granted the Miss Universe franchise. Miss Bethel can certainly attest to this, seeing that she was contracted by MBO to create costumes for this purpose on three separate occasions,” the statement added.


ThisIsOurs 4 years, 9 months ago

They've given what appear to be reasonable explanations for not using the costume. There are any number of legitimate reasons that anyone could produce for not doing a particular thing that would NEVER TOUCH WHY the final choice was REALLY made.

One fact is true, we did not have a Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival planned before 2014.

The question still not answered, is whether a costume is being used from one of the COMPETING groups in Carnival, a costume offered for sale and displayed on the Ministry of Tourism's website under a specific company name that would give a COMPETING group FREE worldwide marketing, NOT offered to the other COMPETING groups. How can the Ministry ask companies to invest money and then give one group an advantage over others? It stands to reason that the individual who created the new design is Bahamian, that is a false argument, the question is what does the DESIGN, not the colour, irrespective of how beautiful the costume is, say about the Bahamas?

If a Carnival costume is NOT being used it is fairly easy to make that statement.

Finally why hasn't the reporter asked these questions? Madame Editor please do something about these reporters, their investigative skills and ability to look critically at various issues.


Stapedius 4 years, 9 months ago

Hmmm. Sounds like you know something the rest of us don't my friend. Hopefully not another scandal. Is there no organization left umarred in this country by some cloak and dagger story?


ThisIsOurs 4 years, 9 months ago

No I don't have any inside info, I'm just asking questions, annoyed that the reporter didn't ask them. If a carnival costume is not being used, get a clear "no" answer. On the other hand, if a carnival costume is being used, how is that fair to the other competing companies? Even if you showcase other costumes, you've selected a single one to highlight.


TalRussell 4 years, 9 months ago

Miss Bahamas Universe Contestant 2011 Anastagia Pierre

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by TalRussell


ThisIsOurs 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow. Can't understand the costume used. It didn't fit. It's fine for a street parade but did not have the elegance for a world stage beauty pageant. This was a bad move. The original costume was a better foundation to springboard off of. Secondly they tied to do too many things to the costume making it look junky and confused. The boyshorts were odd... To think an entire experienced committee ok'd this.. This country is dying, the politicians are killing us with their self interests..I guess the three persons on the carnival commission agree


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