Editorial: Standard of Miss Hong Kong Dropping?
One of the most talked about events of the year is the Miss Hong Kong pageant. The show is one of the most important events of the year and a great inspiration to many young women. However, over the past years, many people think that the standard of Miss Hong Kong is slipping and these women are not as pretty as previous Miss Hong Kong winners. But are standards truly slipping? Do the winners still possess beauty and intelligence?
There are many well known Miss Hong Kong winners who have pursued successful careers since being crowned. One of the most famous and deemed the most beautiful Miss Hong Kong is Michelle Reis. Many people perceive her as the ideal Miss Hong Kong and a “Dai Mei Yan” (a beauty). As a result, it seems like we are trying to find the next Michelle Reis in the subsequent Miss Hong Kong pageants but realistically, how many beautiful peopleare there in this world? Perhaps it is because one of the most beautiful people on television is crowned that makes us feel that standards are slipping.
The 2010 Miss Hong Kong winner is Toby Chan. Her victory brought many criticisms and outbursts, similar to the reception her predecessors received in the past few years. However, I think that the women are not at their prettiest when they are first crowned. It takes time for them to find a suitable style and image, allowing their beauty to shine through. I have noticed this recently whilst watching the latest Miss Hong Kong show. TVB brought back several Miss Hong Kong winners from the past and they definitely outshined the contestants; Tracy Ip, Selena Li and Mandy Cho looked especially stunning and like true Miss Hong Kong winners. This could be the fact that they were no longer contestants so they could smile much more naturally. Another reason is that these women were able to dress in a way that matched their personality and when they are able to express themselves, they are much prettier. On the other hand, the contestants are usually dressed alike and the hairstyles sometimes do them great disfavour. As a result, a woman does not truly become a Miss Hong Kong overnight. The contestants undergo a rushed training session within a few months prior to the actual evening of the competition. Before 2004, the Miss Hong Kong pageant was split into two shows, which allowed the contestants more preparation time.
Apart from beauty, intelligence is also contributing factor. Many winners in the past were crowned as the winner because they performed really well during the question and answer section. Aside from responding well in the interview segment, the winner might have been a favourite from the start. Toby Chan gave very good answers this year and her performance was very steady. She had bagged two other awards previously so winning the title was not really a surprise.
I think that overall the standard of Miss Hong Kong has not really dropped. TVB has definitely changed the criteria of judging; education, background and age of the contestant are contributing factors. Nevertheless, maybe our expectations are too high or we are not giving these women a chance. I am sure several years ago, some people were shocked that Michelle Reis won the pageant or Sonija Kwok bagged the title. We just need to give the new winner some time…