Singaporeans’ perceptions of beauty
Can beauty ever be separated from race?
Netizens have been arguing about Nadia Rahmat Kishlan representing Singapore in a photo project of beautiful women from all over the world.
While The Atlas of Beauty aims to celebrate genuine beauty in diversity, a dispute erupted online as Singaporeans argued about what constituted beauty in Singapore.
While some felt that the former Marc Jacobs model fell short of their beauty ideals, Nadia’s supporters argued that the “haters” were being racist and were taking issue with her skin colour.
However, it seems like “haters” were not actually disappointed by the fact that a non-Chinese was representing Singapore.
Human resources intern Alyssa Lim, 19, who herself is of mixed Chinese and Malay heritage, said: “She’s not pretty… But nothing’s wrong with her skin colour. There are plenty of beautiful Singaporean Malays and Indians and mixed kids, but it’s just that she isn’t the ideal Singaporean beauty that everyone probably imagines.”
Part-time barista Sheryl Tan, 20, said: “Beauty standards are subjective and everyone has their own preferences. Just because I don’t find someone pretty, who just happens to be from a minority race, it does not necessarily mean that it is an issue with race.”
This is not the first time race and beauty have gotten intertwined. The half Afro-American and half Japanese model Ariana Miyamoto, who was crowned Miss Japan 2015, was put under scrutiny by the Japanese media for not looking “Japanese enough” to represent the nation in the Miss Universe beauty contest.
What’s your take?