Myanmar/Burma has a bit of history with beauty queens.
In the ’60s, one of the first Miss Burmas fled with her crown into the jungle to lead an opposition group against Burmese expansionism. Back in 2012, Myanmar’s first international beauty queen absconded with her $100,000 crown. Now we have 19-year-old aspiring model Shwe Eain Si, who had won “Miss Grand Myanmar” (a consolation prize title for whomever finishes in 2ndplace at the Miss Universe Myanmar competition), being stripped of her title.
Miss Grand Myanmar gets to participate in a Thai competition with the mission statement “create peace and stop war”. Shwe Eain Si posted a rather graphic and controversial video on her Facebook page concerning the goings-on in the ravaged Rakhine State on the western coast of Myanmar, where the Rohingya people, who are mostly Muslim, are oppressed by the Buddhist majority. Indeed, the United Nations has labelled the military crackdown in Rakhine state a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Her video blamed the unrest on the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), and a global conspiracy against Myanmar.
Now, Miss Universe Myanmar is entirely a Burmese organisation licenced by the Ministry of Health and Sports, and usually when we hear about this kind of thing, it’s because someone went counter to the official government line. But Shwe Eain Si had perfectly towed that line so what gives? It seems the answer may be far more pedestrian. The director of Miss Universe Myanmar deemed Shwe Eain Si had an attitude unworthy of the title, as well as accusing her of not providing the necessary documentation and certificates required, and not acting professionally before the trip to Vietnam, site of the final contest. She was also accused of using “language inappropriate for a ‘Miss’”, including using the Burmese F–word which she denied. In addition to all that, while at an event in the Philippines she embarrassed the pageant director and her husband in front of a driver, and pointed out mistakes in the Miss Universe Myanmar promotional material.
So it appears that in a country where young people are expected to know their place, the UK-educated Shwe Eain Si may have come off as a bit too cocky for her own good. As the director stated, “As national director [of Miss Universe Myanmar], I have the authority to choose who represents Myanmar and who doesn’t”. One thing they can’t take away from Shwe Eain Si are her good looks (and they are very good), and so she has been bestowed the far more prestigious title of Asian Siren and welcomed into the Hallowed Halls.
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Weight: 110lbs (50kg)
Measurements: 34-24-35″ (86-61-88cm)