Miss Alderney contest 'is not demeaning' says organiser

Miss Alderney 2012 Charlie Barker Charlie Barker won the 2012 Miss Alderney competition

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The Miss Alderney contest is not demeaning to women, says the organiser.

Ilona Soane-Sands said she was pleased with the number of entries for the contest, which is in its 65th year.

Last year the Miss Guernsey contest was cancelled because of a lack of interest and Guernsey Deputy Sandra James called it an "outdated spectacle".

But Mrs Soane-Sands said in neighbouring Alderney the emphasis was on personality and fun rather than beauty.

She said: "Nobody here [in Alderney] is upset, it does not undermine women and it is not an insult because they are out for fun."

Two years ago the rules were changed to allow shy entrants more privacy by letting them apply online, amid fears potential beauty queens on the island - which has an estimated total population of about 1,600 - had become "a bit self conscious".

Would-be Miss Alderneys must be unmarried residents of the island aged between 17 and 25, and be on the island for Alderney Week in August.

The closing date for entries to the Miss Alderney contest is 22 March.

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