Body shaming of Vietnamese contestant at int'l beauty contest invites public backlash

By Dang Khoa   October 27, 2022 | 03:52 pm PT
Nawat Itsaragrisil, president of Miss Grand International, has been slammed for dissing a Vietnamese contestant’s physical appearance and using it to justify her early elimination.

In an online video, Itsaragrisil said that Vietnam's representative Doan Thien An did not have a proportionate body, with upper body noticeably longer than the lower one and her torso being too big.

He said he felt that it was a fair result that An finished in the Top 20 at the finals held October 25.

The Thai chairman's comments immediately sparked outrage with many people criticizing him for "body shaming" An and saying they would boycott the contest if Itsaragrisil doesn't make a public apology.

"This is ridiculous. The competition should be called 'Miss Body Shaming' instead," wrote Hai Trieu, a Facebook account.

Doan Thien An poses for a photo in HCMC on October 27, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Doan Thien An poses for a photo in HCMC on Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

"This the first time I see the president of an international beauty pageant body shaming a contestant. This action should be criticized," said Huyen Trang.

Kim Ly wrote: "It's sad to see that she didn't make it to the Top 10. But disparaging the appearance and beauty of a girl who is just over 20 years old is unthinkable."

Many Vietnamese celebs also took to social media to express their outrage.

On her personal Facebook page, supermodel Ha Anh posted a long status line with her views.

She said that as the president of a beauty contest, it was completely wrong for Itsaragrisil to publicly criticize a contestant's physical appearance.

"When I saw his video, I thought it was a joke and was shocked to hear what he said about An and Vietnamese fans," Ha Anh wrote.

"Though this your beauty pageant, these contestants are young girls who are just trying to promote your show. Why would you publicly body shame and disparage her in the eyes of the people of her country and the world?"

Ha Anh said Itsaragrisil owed Thien An an apology for making such a remark.

Dang Thi Ngoc Han, winner of the 2010 Miss Vietnam title, said she was unhappy with Itsaragrisil's statement and urged people to boycott the competition.

Earlier this week, Brazil's Isabella Menin was crowned Miss Grand International 2022.

Many Vietnamese viewers, outraged when An was stopped in the Top 20, unfollowed the beauty contest’s social media accounts and encouraged others to do the same.

Many people stopped following Miss Grand International on Facebook and Instagram feeling the the contest was unfair and expressing disappointment that An was not placed in the Top 10.

The number of Instagram followers of the contest had dropped from 6.5 million to 4.3 million as of Thursday morning.

After Vietnam's Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien won Miss Grand International 2021, there has been a lot of Vietnamese fans taking interest in this beauty contest.

Doan Thien An at the Miss Grand International finals, Oct. 25, 2022. Video courtesy of MGI

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