A Taiwanese beauty queen contestant was kicked out of her pageant this weekend after defiantly refusing to change her sash that read “Miss Taiwan ROC” to one that read “Miss Chinese Taipei.”
Ting Wen-Yi, 22, is Taiwan’s representative at the Miss Earth 2015 pageant hosted in Vienna, Austria, this year. She revealed in a Facebook post on Sunday that she had been warned of potential political pressure from China before her arrival in Vienna. She wrote in her post that she was subsequently banned from the pageant after standing her ground:
“I told them 30,000 times that Taiwan is Taiwan. I was born in Taiwan, my sash now says Taiwan, I represent Taiwan, and I’m going to use the name of Taiwan in appearing at this pageant.”
Ting was forced to pay for her defiance, as she said:
“Their response to me was, ‘change your sash or just leave’. Today, they did not allow me to stand on stage and photographers were not allowed to take my pictures.”
However, the Taiwanese beauty remained positive under the circumstances and reflected upon her experiences so far in the pageant. Ting admitted that she and other contestants were treated quite poorly throughout the ordeal. In her post, she warned that the glamorous pageant photos are not an accurate portrayal of reality.
According to Ting, the organizers of the event neither provided lunch for the women on two separate occasions nor did they allot time for the contestants to buy their lunches. Meanwhile, dinner consisted mainly of either bread or unappetizing pasta dressed in tomato sauce.
She explained that the women were also taken advantage of for marketing and promotion purposes:
“Over the last three nights, we were shuffled from nightclub to nightclub, wearing beautiful clothes to talk and dance with men. I felt like a club hostess. So it might be a blessing in disguise that I’m out of this contest. We paid large sums of money to enter the contest, but we’re treated little better than prisoners.”
Since the pageant began back in 2001, Taiwan’s representatives have been titled “Miss Taiwan R.O.C.” According to Shanghaiist, the Miss Earth Pageant was converted into an international beauty contest in 2007 when it hosted delegates from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Tibet. It was also the last year Miss Tibet was to be featured in the pageant after Miss Tibet was forced to wear a sash that read “Miss Tibet-China.” Over the years, Miss Hong Kong and Miss Macau have been absent from the competition as well.
In other recent controversial pageant news, Anastasia Lin, who holds the title Miss World Canada, is still waiting to see if China will grant her a visa needed to participate the Miss World pageant. Lin’s visa delay is widely regarded to be related to her outspokenness on human rights, free-speech and freedom of religion. She is currently unable to participate in the pageant rehearsals that will be hosted in Sanya, China, this week.