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COVID has knocked out one of the contestants vying for The Miss World beauty pageant crown, but not because of any illness. Dilay Willemstein, the Netherlands’ Miss World winner, has decided against competing in the pageant because contestants are required to be vaccinated, something Willemstein has no interest in complying with.
“This was simply the best choice for me,” Willemstein told Algemeen Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper. “I think I would have regretted more if I had done something that I actually don’t feel comfortable with.”
The 2021 Miss World pageant is scheduled to be held in Jamaica in mid-December — without the 21-year-old Willemstein. She announced her decision not to take the vaccine earlier this week via Instagram:
“I would like to inform you that I will no longer represent the Netherlands in Puerto Rico, on the big Miss World stage.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.”
Willemstein reiterated her stance to the Algemeen Dagblad:
“I thought about it carefully and considered taking the jab, but at a certain point I thought: I’m not ready for this at all. I don’t feel good about it. This was simply the best choice for me. I think I would have regretted more if I had done something that I actually don’t feel comfortable with.”
She may not walk away with a crown or a sash, but Willemstein can proudly stroll through the Netherlands with her dignity.