Miss World Netherlands has withdrawn from the Miss World beauty contest, citing the competition’s vaccine requirement. Quitting the modelling contest, Dilay Willemstein said she is not prepared to get vaccinated so she can travel to the final in Puerto Rico in December.
In a statement released on Instagram on Tuesday, Willemstein wrote: “Dear people, I would like to inform you that I will no longer represent the Netherlands in Puerto Rico, on the big Miss World stage. This is partly due to the vaccination obligation, personally I am not ready for this yet. This means that the runner up (the one who got placed second in the National final) will represent the Netherlands in Puerto Rico. Love, Dilay.”
“I am not ready for it. It would not feel right. I don’t know if I will ever take it,” the model and dancer told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
“Straight after [the pageant], we were told that we would have to be vaccinated to enter the [Miss World] contest in December,” Willemstein told the paper. She added that she thought long and hard about her decision to withdraw. “This door will close but new doors will open,” she said.
A spokesperson for Miss World Netherlands confirmed Willemstein’s decision to the website Dutch News on Tuesday evening. The site reported that she will now be replaced by Lizzie Dobbe in Puerto Rico, who came second place in the Netherlands’ national contest which concluded back in July.
When Willemstein was crowned Miss World Netherlands back in July, she told the media at the time that taking the Miss World crown fulfilled a life-long dream. However, it was not until after her triumph in the national event that she was told all finalists would have to be vaccinated to be able to travel to Puerto Rico.
Dilay Mariah Willemstein ✨ on Instagram: “Naast dat ik de titel ‘Miss World Nederland 2020/21 👑’ heb gewonnen, heb ik nog een andere titel weten te bemachtigen: Beauty with a…”
Puerto Rico does not currently require travellers to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country, and will accept a negative PCR test taken up to three days before departure. But new rules announced in September mean that events operating at full capacity must require guests to be vaccinated. If not, venues are limited to half capacity.
It is not clear whether the Miss World competition was complying with local rules when it issued its vaccine order, or whether it was applying its own rules.
The model said that when the competition demanded a date for her vaccination appointment, she decided she could not go through with it. After talking with friends who saw she was distressed and told her she didn’t have to go through with taking the vaccine, she made up her mind to go with her gut instinct and not take the jab.
Despite having to miss out on her “dream” opportunity, Willemstein insists she does not harbour any regrets.
Photos : Instagram / Dilay Mariah Willemstein / @dilayw