Friday, September 09, 2005

Beauty competitions for Men?

The contestants.

Some of the contestants in their national costumes.

When I was in HK I watched a little bit of Mr Asia. A new competition. Its old news now but I was just reminded of it the other day. I was intrigued with what a beauty pageant would be like for men. I only watched the last few sections, however it was enough to give me some sort of indication. As taken from the website:

The Judges indicated that besides physical appearances, the contestants should demonstrate other quality as well. Fanny tends to judge on their charm, masculinity and inner beauty, while Janet will focus on their appearance, character and personlity. Mrs. Judy Hong believes that the vitality of their eyes are very important. [Engrish included]

I didn't see any judging of their inner beauty, strange that.

I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, but the question/answer section wasn't much different from female pageants. Silly questions were asked and silly replies were give such as the winner -Mr Israel's one reason why he should win:

"I have the biggest eyes"

Or Mr India's reply to the following question:

What is the biggest problem in your country today, and how will you deal with it?

I think the biggest problem in my country is over-population and pollution. I hope that people can be self-discipline and don't waste materials. Just use what must be used and don't waste. Also, keeping hygiene is very important.

Something seems different though. Something I can't quite put my finger on. It was different from competitions like Mr World in that the emphasis wasn't on muscle. At the same time it didn't fully compare to the female pageants either. Perhaps it was just the change of men being subjected to it all.

Photos and quotes taken from the website.


yuanna said...

An anecdote: I believe the eighties might have been the golden era for pageants in Hong Kong. High ratings, media coverage and all. We had The Best Mom, The Best Wife, Newly-weds and Miss "Your Ideal Gym Instructor". Winners were usually typecast to play certain roles in big and small screen.

I think ATV had the first Mr. Asia ten years ago to promote the first Miss Asia because ATV have always suffered from low ratings and lack of sponsorships. Two years ago, they had contestants from different Asian countries. Then they shifted focus again and had oontestants from Great China.

TVB (the real monopoly) on the other hand appeals to the middleclass, overseas Chinese, whose parents emigrated to developed countries like Canada and Australia around 1984.

K, we have a Mr Hong Kong as well. The two final contestants were A) A Yundi Lee lookalike HKU grad metrosexual tall slim pianist with small eyes, and B) tres mus-ly tanned spiky haired big breast steroid fuelled 37 yo gym instrutor. Guess who took home the trophy?

And T, you fit just comfortably in the middle of the spectrum:)

I feel like HK's become a strange spectacle here ... um ... getting self-conscious over nothing ...

kristy said...

Yes I heard about Mr HK but was unable to find anything online about it.I heard a rumour that Mr Asia replaced it, is that correct?

And i personally think that Mr T is much closer to A than B :P.

Tish G. said...

Hi Kristy--found you thru Sour Duck...

The problem with the idea of "male beauty" is how it is measured. Do we contrast it with female beauty--as in the guys are very metrosexual and thus have an ambiguous sexuality? or do we have a completely different standard for it contingent on fitness and muscularity as opposed to groomed-within-an-inch-of-his-life beauty?

And, there's always the gay factor. For some weird reason, it seems that most men who think about their appearance alot are also concerned about whether or not they are as attractive to other men as they are to women. And women have to "compete" with gay men for the attention of beautiful men--which isn't the same when it comes to women....fascinating, but strange.

kristy said...

Tish good point and thanks for commenting. I'm a huge fan of sour ducks!

I think traditionally, well within western culture anyway that men were judged based on their masculinity and its only been recently that more and more metrosexuals have emerged and been appreciated/seen as attractive by women. I know i've dated a couple anyway :-).

I guess thats why i found mr asia slightly different because many of the contestants were not tradionally masculine, or muscular and I can't really imagine a competition like it in the western world. I'm sure if there was one that many of the contestants would in fact be worried about being labelled as 'gay'- a huge insult to some men.

I do wonder whether women too are also allowed and seen as attractive if they too step outside the traditional ideal-of being feminine. Some how i don't think so!

Which reminds me, one woman (jlp) commented about a previous post of mine on the asian-white disparity in datingand suggested that one of the reasons why there are so many white male-asian females and so few asian male-white female relationships is because of the masculinity/feminity hierarchy. Perhaps there is something to her theory.