Feminists attack beauty contest where men vote on bikini-clad women

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Melbourne, Oct 17 (ANI): A feminist group has launched an attack against a multimedia beauty pageant in which men cast votes on bikini-clad women.

Sportsmodel.TV is using the lure of a career in modelling or as a television presenter to encourage hundreds of women to upload images of themselves posing in swim wear.

Visitors to the competition's website, and from next month via iPhone, can vote on those they consider most attractive.

The managing director of advocacy group Women's Network Australia, Lynette Palmen, said she was appalled that women were being put on display.

"We see it every day ... whether it's a billboard or a magazine, the exploitation of women and judging people on their looks will always be a drawcard for attracting men to a product or service," the Herald Sun quoted her as saying.

Pageant contestants who amass the most votes each month will be whittled down to a group of finalists.

A reel of still images and video produced for each one will then be shown as part of a Miss Universe-style fashion show on digital TV channel ONE HD, broadcast on the web, in 300 live venues around the country, and streamed to iPhone users.

A final group of 20 will compete for a five-day training program at the "Sportsmodel.TV Academy" to polish their media presentation or modelling skills.

The man behind Sportsmodel.TV, Matthew Skene, described the competition as a cross between Sports Illustrated and TV show Next Top Model.

He said the 140-plus women already taking part ranged from finance workers to scientists.

"Sportsmodel.TV offers a unique opportunity for talented and beautiful women to break into the increasingly competitive television and beauty industry," he said.

"We're trying to find the next Jennifer Hawkins," he added.

Contestant Alana de Freitas said she had no qualms about men judging images of her frolicking in the surf.

"It's a great stepping stone," the finance worker, a former girlfriend of star Hawthorn forward Lance "Buddy" Franklin, stated.

"A lot of the girls use their profiles to draw attention to charities and things.

"Just because you've got some photos of yourself in a bikini doesn't mean you're not a good person or you don't care about the world," she added. (ANI)

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