Chinese government calls 7 year old girl ugly

Posted in News, Sports on August 12th, 2008 by Hyphen


(Yang Peiyi on the left, Lin Miaoke on the right. Both look adorable to me.)

I’m really enjoying the competition so far, but stories like this and the racist Spanish basketball advertisement are starting to take away from the Olympic spirit. Granted, there are also the tiiiiiiny issues of human rights abuse, pollution, and censorship that the Chinese government has failed to address, but is that really surprising? Not so much. This, however, is.

China’s made no secret that the 2008 games are their welcoming party to the table of world superpowers. To that end, they’ve controlled every last aspect of the presentation, crafting the exact image they want to project to the world. This happens everywhere – currently evident in Vancouver’s ongoing efforts to force their homeless outside of the city in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics – but it’s almost always troublesome. In this situation, the Chinese deemed a 7 year old singer named Yang Peiyi “not suitable” to perform at the opening ceremonies, even though they wanted to use her voice in a key part of the festivities. Apparently she wasn’t cute enough to represent the country on the world stage. So what to do? Simple, they found 9 year old Lin Miaoke to lip sync the song. Miaoke has since gone on to become an international celebrity, while the controversy over the decision just broke in the press. You can read the full story here.

At the moment, both girls and their families seem to be ok with the whole situation. That’s good, and I hope they continue to feel that way, but it doesn’t fix the larger problem here. The fact that a country would blatantly attack the self-esteem of one girl, and consequently, a whole generation, is appalling. China has all the tools to be a world leader, but there are certain areas where they’re failing miserably.

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