Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Miss Universe MalaysiaToo White?

The International Business Times has questioned whether this year's Miss Universe Malaysia, Kimberley Leggett, is "too white" for a Malaysian beauty.

According to the magazine
The Star 8 Aug 2012

Leggett, with her hazel eyes, fair skin and long dark hair, could easily pass for a citizen of the euro zone. Her fluent English is a mix of dialects - it sounds a bit like the oft-stereotyped American valley accent with hints of English

This has understandably raised the ire of Andrea Fonseka, the director general of Mumo (Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation) who had been quoted by Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency as having retorted
Yes, we are predominantly Malay, Chinese and Indian. But there are also other ethnic groups. As such, don't pass any judgement on cultures and nationalities that you're unfamiliar with

Miss Leggett herself was quoted by the Star newspaper as saying

I was frankly offended with the article because it spoils the good reputation of the pageant that is judged fairly, not by the colour of a contestant's skin. I may not look like the average Malaysian, but I am very much a local. Why am I being picked on for looking a certain way?

Another mixed Malaysian beauty, Miss World Malaysia 2011, Chloe Chen, had also questioned why it should be an issue for a minority to represent a country in a beauty pageant. She was quoted by the Star newspaper to have said

When I competed in the Miss World pageant, there were African countries represented by white women. Canada was represented by a Chinese beauty. If it wasn't an issue for other countries to have a minority representing them, why should it be a problem for multi-racial Malaysia?

Yes, indeed why should it be an issue for a minority to represent Malaysia in a beauty pageant?

But it is equally true that Malaysia may never have a more "representative" beauty to represent the country in a beauty pageant because no Malay would dare to take part any more in a beauty pageant after all the ho ha that had been raised against their participation by the conservative ulama here.

So, only the Chinese, Indians and the pan-Asians or the "too whites" who participate and lately it is the latter (all Malaysians nevertheless) who triumph.

2 comments:

  1. I've not seen you around in the blog world for a while.

    Concerning representing Malaysia for this beauty pageant, I also don't see what the problem is. It's like my two daughters. They have fair skin just like me but they ae 100% Malaysian as far as nationality and citizenship goes. Does this mean that they won't be treated like Malaysians just because they look 'white'?

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    Replies
    1. On the contrary, Duncan, Malaysians do adore and look up to them and do consider them to be Malaysians. Except that when it comes to the question as to whether they are "representative" of the Malaysian look as a whole, some if not many, won't quite agree. But really, it is quite hard to define what is a representative Malaysian look as the Malaysian society becomes more and more "rojak". As it is already, there are so many different races making up the Malaysian population. Still, at this point of time...As to whether or not a Caucasian looking Malaysian should be allowed to represent Malaysia in a beauty pageant, I don't think this should be an issue. At least, I hope not.

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