Netta Barzilai declines offer to perform at Miss Universe pageant

The 2018 Eurovision winner cited her dislike of judging women by their body size, height, and weight as her reason for turning down the invitation to perform.

NETTA BARZILAI performs during the Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
NETTA BARZILAI performs during the Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

Eurovision 2018 winner Netta Barzilai has recently revealed that she turned down an offer to perform at the Miss Universe pageant in Eilat this coming Sunday.

In a statement shared by Channel 13, the singer-songwriter said that despite not accepting the offer, she was "flattered by the offer to perform at the ceremony."

"Even though I see a lot of beauty in it [the pageant], I still cannot see myself standing on a stage where women are judged by appearance, body size, height, and weight," she explained as to why she declined the opportunity.

"Although updates have been made in accordance with the times, I still think beauty pageants are a harsh concept. They are outdated and diminishing. It's time to move on."

Not everyone agreed with her decision not to appear at the ceremony alongside performing artists Harel Skaat and Noa Kirel, however. 

 Miss Universe contestants are seen in Jerusalem, on November 30, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Miss Universe contestants are seen in Jerusalem, on November 30, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

TV Presenter and radio broadcaster Judy Shalom Nir Mozes criticized Barzili's statement, calling her hypocritical.

"When we first meet someone, our first impression is their appearance. This is just hypocrisy..." she responded, speaking to radio 103FM.

"This is a competition that is good for the Israeli economy. We are constantly making headlines in the world for negative reasons, and here is a good reason to show our other side to the world," she added, criticizing her for what she perceived to be her unwillingness to highlight Israel's good to the world.

"We also choose our leaders by appearance," she added. "To say that she won't come because women are judged according to their appearances is hypocrisy.

The Miss Universe beauty pageant will be held in Eilat on Sunday December 12, despite last minute concerns earlier this month that it would not be permitted to go ahead due to the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.