Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Perfectly Patriotic: Creating a 'Smiling Angel' for Opening Ceremonies

According to the BBC:

Wearing a red dress and pigtails, Lin Miaoke charmed a worldwide audience with a rendition of “Ode to the Motherland”.

But the singer was Yang Peiyi, who was not allowed to appear because she is not as "flawless" as nine-year-old Lin...

Speaking on Beijing Radio station, musical director Chen Qigang said the organisers needed a girl with both a good image and a good voice.

They faced a dilemma because although Lin was prettier, seven-year-old Yang had the better voice, Mr Chen said.

"After several tests, we decided to put Lin Miaoke on the live picture, while using Yang Peiyi's voice," he told the radio station.

"The reason for this is that we must put our country's interest first," he added.

The message to girls world-wide is clear: No matter what your talents might be, be cute or get out of sight. You know, for your country.

UPDATE: Feministing has picked up this story and rightly makes the point that Yang Peiyi is adorable. She's really cute. So it isn't enough just to be cute and talented - you have to be the state-approved variety of cute. Otherwise, here is a state-approved curtain to hide behind, girls!


FeministGal said...

oh my goodness, this is disgusting... i understand China wants to do everything they can for their "image" right now but this did NOT work in their favor, at least not with most people... ew!!!!!! I'll also say that the state approved version of "cute" was a lot closer to Western girlyness than the other adorable, not approved girl who looked more traditionally Chinese. That too makes me rant. But not just at China but at the US for the globalization of Western beauty that we've spread throughout the world...

Amelia said...

Good, good. Glad to see other blogs covering this. I haven't been able to do much blog reading/writing lately, but I did manage to scrape up a post about this.