The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Tuesday (Feb 14) announced they would assign the task of deciding whether or not to strip the title and crown of Miss Vietnam 2006, to an authorised agency.
The public has been divided over the controversy of recently leaked photos of Mai Phuong Thuy, former Miss Vietnam, wearing a traditional costume and posing provocatively.
The 10 black and white photos of Thuy were taken 4 years ago by photographer Quoc Huy, and show Thuy wearing a Vietnamese traditional dress and holding a “non la” (cone hat) and symbolic lotus flower.
|Miss Vietnam 2006 Mai Phuong Thuy|
The beauty queen came under criticism when the photos featuring her wearing a clingy, near-transparent “ao dai” spread fast on the Internet.
Right after the photos were made public it created two opposite camps of fans and artists alike.
One group is extremely critical, saying Thuy showed off her body curves while the other praised her for capturing the delicate, gentle and fragile image of Vietnamese women.
Some reasoned that as a representative of Vietnamese women and beauty, Mai Phuong Thuy had tarnished ao dai’s beautiful image by striking erotic poses in it and thus she no longer deserved the title.
Some even said the pictures are terrible, and they should not have been posted online.
However, numerous photographers stated that the set of photos of Thuy are titillating only, not erotic as some people concluded.
They said they also understood that Thuy was too young at the time but warned that other beauty queens and models should learn from this experience and take extra care when wearing ao dai or portraying the image of Vietnamese women.
Furthermore, the beauty winner officially apologised to her fans, saying she was too young when she posed for photos at the time and that her lack of skills probably sent the wrong message about the purpose of the photos.
Mai Phuong Thuy wrote in her blog: “The whole team and I only aim for aesthetic values in the photos. If we failed to deliver the message, we should really learn from the experience and improve ourselves.”
"We certainly do not intend to tarnish the image of the traditional ao dai and Vietnamese women. I apologise for all the inconvenience caused by these photos. I hope to have your sympathy and another chance to contribute to the community,” she wrote.
The announcement by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism yet to strip the title from Mai Phuong Thuy was in response to negative comments in some online newspapers.
Hence the Ministry said it would look deeper into the case and hand it over to a “specialised agency” that will study the photos and then reach a final decision.
However this is a good experience for other beauty queens or fashion models as celebrities should always keep a good image, watch what they say and protect the country’s traditional values.
‘Ao dai’ is Vietnam’s traditional costume representing centuries-old history and culture similar to Japan’s kimono.