Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 scandal: IBTimes article entitled “The Politics of Beauty: Is Malaysia’s Miss Universe Contestants Too White?” published on July 14 was condemned by the organizers of the pageant, The Miss Universe Malaysia Organization.
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Andrea Fonseka, National Director of Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation, said the article was unjustified to Malaysians and was uncalled for, adding that it clearly showed the writer’s ignorance towards the multi-ethnicity background in Malaysia.
“Yes, dominantly we are (consist of) Malay, Chinese and Indian. But we also have so many other ethnic groups.
“So don’t draw value judgement on the society’s culture and country that you don’t know about,” she said in an exclusive interview with Bernama here.
The article, entitled “The Politics of Beauty: Is Malaysia’s Miss Universe Contestants Too White?” had specifically picked Malaysia as one country that has tended towards fairer-skinned beauty as to represent the country in the coveted Miss Universe pageant, while the selection was also more westernised in recent years.
It raised doubt about the Malaysianess of the Penang-born Kimberly Leggett, winner of the Miss Malaysia 2012 and of a Caucasian-Serani parentage, who was deemed too white for a Malaysian by the writer.
“For me, your cannot crown a girl just because she is ‘too white’ or based on the skin colour.
“We crown a girl because she deserved it and to discriminate against fair-skinned girl because they don’t look Malaysian is detrimental,” Fonseka said.
The leggy beauty, who was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia in 2004, was also of mix parentage herself.
She also said that there was no Malaysian look, only Malaysian beauty, and that the writer should have defined what was Malaysian look, to justify the report.
The article also highlighted the racial fabric in the country, saying that the country was very much racially segregated in term of politics.
“Malaysians are of all shapes, sizes and colours and I think there is no one with a pure Malaysian look. We are so culturally diverse, that we cannot pinned down a Malaysian look,” Fonseka said.
The article also criticised MUMO’s move to introduce a reality TV show concept as part of its selection process.
While defending the concept, Fonseka said it would allow the public to follow and get to know the contestants’ real personality better before they take on the stage.
She added that the concept, which was introduced last year, would continue this year, with some adjustment.
“Last year, it was recorded live and this year we decided that we will pre-shoot the five-episode series to get better production value,” she said, adding that there would be some degree of public involvement in selecting their favourite contestants via SMS.
On the latest development of the 2013 Miss Universe Malaysia, she said the contest had attracted more than 1,000 applicants so far.
“We have began shortlisting and the finalists will be announced by first week of September,” she said, adding that the Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 finale would be held in mid December in Kuala Lumpur.
Courtesy of Miss Universe Malaysia Organization.