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Why Many Chinese Say Miss Michigan, A Chinese American, Is Ugly?

ByGeorge Bao

Aug 4, 2016

By George Bao   Aug. 3, 2016

Miss Michigan (photo from Mlive.com)
Miss Michigan (photo from Mlive.com)


LOS ANGELES – When Arianna Quan, a Chinese American, is crowned Miss Michigan who will be competing in this year’s upcoming Miss American contest in September, many Chinese, whether in the United States or in China, say Quan is not beautiful, or even ugly, and questioned the criteria for Americans to judge whether a Chinese is pretty.

Quan was born in Beijing and moved to the U.S. when she was six. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen at 14 and is now studying transportation design at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies.

Usually when a Chinese American makes achievements in the U.S., he or she would become the focus of attention whether in the Chinese community in the U.S. or in China. But this time, Quan got a different treatment:

“She’s ugly AND she isn’t Chinese,” one Chinese wrote in a post over the social media.

“She’s 23?! Why does she look like she’s 43?” another Chinese questioned her age. Actually to say someone looks older than his or her age is a negative comment.

“Is it a spoof by the U.S.?” another Chinese asked.

“Michigan must be a place where people are judged by their virtues not by their appearances,” wrote another.

Chinanews.com, a website in China, carried a story Wednesday to discuss the phenomenon. It’s headline is interesting: SO MANY PEOPLE SAY SHE IS UGLY BUT HOW MANY CAN SAY THEY LIVE MORE BEAUTIFULLY THAN HER?

The story pasted the criteria the beauty contest organizers used for the selection of Miss Michigan, and among them, talent consists of 30 percent, life style and fitness in swimsuit consists of 15 percent, composite score consists of 25 percent, final question consists of 20 percent, and evening wear consists of 15 percent.

The story listed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan and other Chinese celebrities in the U.S. to show that those Chinese women may not be considered as very beautiful in the eyes of some Chinese, but they, like Quan, have lived a “beautiful life” through their efforts and self-confidence.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan (photo by gettyimages)
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan (photo by gettyimages)

They have also demonstrated to the people living outside of China the intelligence and character of the Chinese sons and daughters and their resolve and action daring to pursue their dreams, the story wrote.

There are supporters in the U.S. too. Pham Thanh Huong, a Vietnamese, wrote on the website: “‪Yes, I am an Asian (Vietnamese) but I see Adriana very beautiful and impressive. She represents a natural beauty. She does not look like the dolls coming out from the beauty salons which can not differentiate from one another!

Another Asian, Sharon So, wrote: ‪Adrianna is beautiful, talented and smart – don’t let haters disparage you Arianna! Thank you for representing us in your brilliant light!”



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