Have Your Say: The Myanmar Beauty Queen Controversy

Well this is certainly interesting: what started as a seemingly innocent beauty pageant has turned int a scandal after news broke out that the winner ran away with the crown. Say whaaaaaat?

There are even conflicts when it comes to reports of how old winnnig beauty queen May Myat Noe is: the BBC writes that she is 18, while the Myanmar Times reports that she is 19. She represented Myanmar at the Miss Asia Pacific World 2014 pageant, which was held in Seoul last May. Jezebel reports that she ran away with the crown and USD 100,000 winnings after she refused pageant organizers who forced plastic surgery on her.

May Myat Noe flanked by runners-up at Miss World Asia Pacific 2014

May Myat Noe flanked by runners-up at Miss World Asia Pacific 2014

Yep, that’s right. Apparently thisĀ beauty queen, a physical representation of female beauty ideals, was not beautiful enough for organizers. In the Jezebel article above, a pageant representative had this to say:

“We thought she should be more beautiful … so as soon as she arrived we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts,” said David Kim, director of the pageant.

“It’s our responsibility,” he said, adding, “If she has no good nose, then maybe, if she likes, we can operate on her nose. If it’s breasts, then breasts.”

Ummm, what? You can’t really blame May Myat Noe for running away. She has since been stripped of her title, with contest organizers claiming that her behaviour was “ungrateful,” “disrespectful,” and “rude.” I don’t know about you, but I think forcing plastic surgery on someone who doesn’t want it is pretty disrespectful and rude.

At the time of writing, the most recent development in this story sees May Myat Now back in Myanmar, where she has demanded an apology in return for the crown and prize cash winnings.

If there are ever plans for a third Miss Congeniality movie, I really hope they work this into the main story line.