You may have already noticed that Singapore’s TV stations have stopped broadcasting local beauty pageants. And as revealed in this interview with Miss Kuek Ziyi, even the prizes have become elusive. In a few years’ time, the organisers may only need to conduct an interview before deciding who to send as a representative to the international competition. An attempt to trace the cause for this sad state of affairs may lead us to a chicken and egg issue. Sponsors may be reluctant to commit because of poor participation and poor reception. The lack of strong sponsorships may have led to a poorly organised competition with weak contestants and little public interest.
But there is another reason that deters good candidates. A doctor appeared in one recent Miss Singapore pageant and not surprisingly, both she and the organiser were uneasy about revealing her profession during the competition. This may not be an issue in another developed country, but “conservative” Singapore society passes judgement on what is unbecoming for the prestigious professions. Even though immoral practices can take place in any institution or event, the bored and righteous folks in our society derive more pleasure from deriding easy targets. Is it any wonder that the good girls stay clear of beauty pageants?
At the end of the day, the only question that comes to the mind of the pragmatist is, do we even need to have beauty pageants at all? We can watch an Olympic event without a Singaporean representative. What’s wrong with watching an international pageant without a Singaporean representative? Miss Kuek Ziyi’s frustrations strike a familiar chord with me. Whether one is pursuing the Arts, pop music or beauty pageants, he/she should leave the negativity of this society behind.
Above is a picture of the winner of Miss Singapore World 2015, Miss Charity Lu Lu Seng. You can check out a picture of the three winners here (see if you agree with the judges) and below is my interview with the 1st Runner Up, Miss Kuek Ziyi whom I know personally.
© Chan Joon Yee