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Miss Universe contestants swap 'political' national dress for bikinis

Miss Universe 2021 contestants swapped their 'political' national dress for swimwear for the 69th annual beauty competition's infamous bikini round.

With a number of beauty queens using their platform on Friday morning to highlight social injustice and patriotic messages, last night the women stripped down to colourful two-pieces and stilettos for the preliminary competition, ahead of Monday's official pageant. 

Showing off their stunning physiques, the contestants also donned colour-coordinating kimonos and sashes revealing their respective countries as they strutted across the stage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida.

The bikini round was followed by the evening gown competition which saw hopefuls dress in elegant, glitzy figure-hugging gowns.

Miss Universe 2021 contestants swapped their 'political' national dress for swimwear for the 69th annual beauty competition's infamous bikini round (pictured: Miss Indonesia Ayu Maulida Putri)

With a number of hopefuls using their platform on Friday morning to highlight social injustice and patriotic messages, last night the women stripped down to colourful two-pieces (pictured left: Miss Great Britain Jeanette Akua and right, Miss Thailand Amanda Obdam)

Ahead of Monday's official pageant, the stunning contestants showed off their impressive physiques for the preliminary competition last night (pictured: Miss USA Asya Branch)

Miss Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin (pictured left in the bikini round), held up a sign which urged for 'prayers' for her country during the previous national dress round. The Asian nation has been embroiled in unrest since the military carried out a putsch on February 1, disputing the results of an election that resulted in a pro-democracy party winning power

Miss Poland Natalia Pigua (left) and Miss South Africa Natasha Joubert don pink and yellow bikinis for the round, held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Miss Argentina Alina Akselrad appears onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 Preliminary Competition at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Yesterday Lola de los Santos Biccò, the official representative for Uruguay, appeared onstage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida donning a multi-coloured ensemble with a powerful message which read: 'No more hate, violence, rejection, discrimination.'

Among the others calling for their message to be heard was Miss Myanmar, Thuzar Wint Lwin, who held up a sign which urged for 'prayers' for her country. The Asian nation has been embroiled in unrest since the military carried out a putsch on February 1, disputing the results of an election that resulted in a pro-democracy party winning power.

Across Myanmar, citizens have been pushing back against the ruling junta, staging massive demonstrations which have been met with violence by the military and led to the deaths of hundreds so far. 

Elsewhere, Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong, who donned a pair of thigh-high red boots, decided to include her powerful message into her costume.

The beauty contestant shone a spotlight on the #StopAsianHate movement through a sequinned bodysuit which included a hashtag on a flowing cape.

Other memorable performances included Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo, who stood out in a pair of red and blue wings and three stars which represented the colours and symbols of her country's flag. 

Miss Russia Alina Sanko (left), Miss Mexico Andrea Meza (centre) and Miss Ukraine Yelyzaveta Yastremska (right) on stage during the bikini round at Miss Universe 2021

Miss Netherlands Denise Speelman donned a vibrant blue bikini and silver stilettos with a floating gold kimono during last night's Preliminary Competition bikini round

Miss Costa Rica Ivonne Cerdas Cascante (left) and Miss Mauritius Vandana Jeetah (right) both looked striking in their matching bright yellow bikinis

Miss Romania Bianca Lorena Tirsin strikes a fierce pose, sending her turquoise kimono flying around her in last night's bikini round

Miss Barbados Hillary Ann Williams (left) and Miss El Salvador Vanessa Velasquez (right) strut their stuff on stage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Miss Philippines Rabiya Mateo (left), Miss China Jiaxin Sun (centre) and Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong (right) onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 Preliminary Competition bikini round

Yesterday Bernadette Belle Ong made a fashion and political statement, writing on Instagram: 'This year's national costume is inspired by the Singapore flag. The red of the flag represents universal fellowship, and white purity. These ideals ring true not just for Singapore but also at an international competition like Miss Universe that brings women together to empower each other and address important issues. #stopasianhate'

Miss Cameroon Angele Kossinda (left) and Miss Nepal Anshika Sharma (right) flash dazzling smiles as they stride across the stage in their swimwear

Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jimanez (left) and Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo (right) strike a pose in their matching yellow bikinis

Miss Ghana Chelsea Tayui is a commanding presence on stage, grinning as she shows off her trim physique during the bikini round

Miss Venezuela Mariangel Villasmil (left), Miss Portugal Cristiana Silva (centre) and Miss Romania Bianca Lorena Tirsin (right) on stage during the bikini round

Miss Uruguay Lola de los Santos dons a vibrant baby blue bikini teamed with a gold kimono as she takes to the stage during the bikini round

Yesterday Lola de los Santos Biccò, the official representative for Uruguay appeared onstage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino donning a multi-coloured ensemble with a powerful message which read: 'No more hate, violence, rejection, discrimination' (pictured)

Miss Slovak Republic Natalia Hostakova (left) and Miss France Amandine Petit (right) in matching baby blue bikinis during last night's round

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