Is This Beauty? Miss Asia Pacific World Stripped Of Title For REFUSING A Boob Job


Usually when Beauty Pageant scandals hit the news, they come as yet another frustrating reminder that judging women by their physical appearence is still very much the done thing.

Even when organisers outlaw the bikini round and ask the women participating to describe their interests they aren't fooling anyone. The clue is in the name - this game is all about competing to best represent a narrow definition of beauty.

May Myat Noe was crowned Miss Asia Pacific World, but was dethroned reportedly after refusing breast augmentation (PA)

And nowhere does the concept of beauty seem narrower than in the huge competitions in Asia, spearheaded by beauty and plastic surgery Mecca South Korea.

This week we heard that the latest winner of the Miss Asia Pacific World, held in Seoul, South Korea, has had her title stripped from her for refusing to have a boob job.

Unsurprisngly there's something of a controversy surrounding it - this is the third winner in four years who has lost her crown under unsavoury circumstances.

According to the organisers, May Myat Noe from Myanmar, was ordered to have the surgery because her breasts were considered too small and there was an expectation that the $10,000 (£6,000) sponsored surgery be performed for all winners, as it had been in the past.

It was then reported that May had headed back to Myanmar with the crown (worth $100,000/£60,300) is refusing to give it back until she gets an apology.

"I'm not even proud of this crown," she said. "I don't want a crown from an organisation with such a bad reputation.

"But I won't give it back to the Koreans unless they apologize," she added. "Not just to me but my country for giving it a bad image."

Beauty Pageants are huge in the Pacific, but Miss Asia Pacific World has been dogged by controversy (REX)

David Kim, the media director of the pageant said: "Everyone knows she is no longer the queen, but she thinks as long as she keeps this crown she's the winner. She's not."

Previous controversies include claims of sexual harrassment and accusations of top-place marks being on offer in return for sexual favours.

Some of the women, including Amy Willerton from Wales, who secretly filmed arguments between the women and the organisers, have also reported a lack of food.

May Myat Noe talks to journalists after her dethroning (PA)

But more broadly what does it say when participants for a beauty contest are routinely sponsored to have plastic surgery to change their appearence for it and their careers afterwards? How incredibly has natural beauty been sidelined for these specific aesthetic rules?

Sadly, it's hardly surprising. In South Korea plastic surgery is so common, one in five women have had some sort of cosmetic procedure.

The ideal is to look like the cute, cartoonishly pretty 'K-Pop' female pop stars (such as those we've seen dancing in the Psy video). And the market is huge.

Before and after shots of Korean plastic surgery patients

One plastic surgery patient Christina Lim explained to ABC News why she was going under the knife.

"Everyone wants to look like the K-Pop idols. You have to look pretty, you have to have double eyelids and the V-line face, big breasts.."

But she added that walking down the street, 'everyone looks identical."

With millions of people heading to South Korea for plastic surgery every year, the identikit beauty norms could soon flood into the mainstream. And how boring would that be?

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