Saturday, August 27, 2011

2009 Miss Universe Japan

Today, Let's look at the 2009 Miss Universe Japan, Miyasaka Emiri (surname first).

She is from Tokyo, born on June 16, 1984 and is a model in Japan. She's 1.71 meters tall (5'-7-1/2"), weighs 48 kilograms (110 pounds), with brown eyes and black hair. She speaks a bit of English (yay!) after spending 10 months at a school in California. 

Along with competing in the Miss Universe 2009 pageant on August 23, 2009 in Nassau, Bahamas (a lovely place for a vacation, if I don't say so myself), but did not place, cut after the first event where contestants wear the country's national costume. Other titles held are: Miss International Japan 2008 - 2nd Runner-up.

But, what makes Miyasaka's story interesting (to me) was the brouhaha surrounding her choice of national costume - which you can see in the photo above.

Personally, I can see nothing wrong with it. It's sexy, and yet quite obviously Japanese, and she looks marvelous in it. But, seeing as how she was cut after the first round, people in Japan assumed it was because the costume.

But... the problem with the dress actually came from Japanese critics weeks before the actual Miss Universe event during the reveal of the national costume to the press and public.

The problem with the costume, according to many fuddy-duddies, is that it was too revealing, and not at all what the Miss Universe contest was looking for.

Says Miyasaka during her reveal of the costume before the Miss Universe contest: "Even as a representative of my country, I want to express my individuality. I'm trying as hard as I can to appeal to appeal to everyone based on the kindness and modesty of the Japanese!"

Well... look at the photo... it's hiked up pretty high and shows off some lovely pink lingerie (underwear) and a whole lot of leg - and while I am no prude, it's hard to say that Miyasaka is correct in her desire for modesty.

The costume was designed by Ogata Yoshiyuki for the Yoshiyuki brand, and by Ines Ligron, who was appointed by Miss Universe owner Donald Trump as the Japan Miss Universe franchise holder and director.

At the conference aimed to show off the national costume prior to the show, Japanese critics called the costume a "national disgrace" that "made fun of Japan's traditional clothing and culture." Others simply called it "a stupidly designed stupid costume for a stupid person to wear."

Wow... they used the word stupid three times in one sentence. Tell us what you really think.

But, some blogs in the US looking at the dress called it something a porn star would wear - I guess they would know.

According to Itai News, a Japanese news blog, some 3500 readers left a litanty of negative comments on the dress, calling it vulgar or perverted, or that Miyasaka looks like a Kyabakura hostess, or that the costume is "something akin to the emperor's new clothes - is she surrounded by nothing but yes men?"

Before this press conference, the skirt was actually longer, but Ligron decided just before the conference to shorten it. During the uproar, Ligron defended her decision and the dress calling the critics "dinosaurs".

And yet... at the Miss Universe competition, Miyasaka wore a more conservative design at the pageant... and still did not make it past the first round.

Poor Miyasaka... crucified by the Japanese press and people before she even walked down the runway of the Miss Universe pageant. What could the judges at that competition do? If they allowed her to continue after the showing of the costume, then they would essentially say that the Japanese people have no knowledge of style... or thus by stopping Miyasaka right at the costume judging, they could have simply tried to placate the Japanese people at the expense of one poor contestant.

Now maybe I'm naive, but I don't think the Miss Universe judges work that way. I hope they actually judge the contestants, their costumes and their skills objectively, without listening to anyone else's public outcry. As such, I would simply believe that while Miss Universe Japan had a very sexy costume, her look and the look of the costume simply wasn't as sexy as some of the other contestants who went to the second round.

Blame the costume if you must, but don't forget that there were a lot of other beautiful women at the contest, and there are always a lot of young women who do not get to wear the crown.

Still... I do have to say that while sexy, the Japanese kimono look - regardless of how short and revealing it is, has been done to death. It's why Miss Universe Japan 2006 Chibana Kurara won the Best National Costume award and was first runner-up at the event. It was stylistically different, sexy and just plain awesome. 

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