Ministry to handle Miss VN’s controversial photos

Vietnam’s culture ministry Tuesday announced there had been no decision to strip Miss Vietnam 2006 Mai Phuong Thuy of her crown over a recently-leaked photo shoot featuring her in traditional costume and in poses many consider titillating.

The beauty queen came under fire when the photo collection featuring her wearing clingy, near-transparent ao dai spread fast on the Internet.

Ao dai is Vietnam’s traditional costume representing centuries-old history and culture similar to Japan’s kimono.

The announcement by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has silenced negative comments which were seized by many online newspapers to create headlines.

They 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.

In the shoot taken two years after Thuy claimed the crown, 10 black and white photos of Thuy, with Vietnamese “non la” (cone hat) and symbolic lotus flowers, was done by photographer Quoc Huy.

However, the Ministry said it would look further into the case and hand it over to a “specialized agency” who will study them to come up with a final decision.

It also cited two opposite camps from fans and artists alike.

One group is extremely critical, saying Thuy showed off her body’s curves while the other praised her for capturing the delicate, gentle and fragile image of Vietnamese women.

To Van Dong, a Ministry’s spokesperson said the pictures are terrible, and they should not have been spread online.

Last Wednesday, the beauty winner officially apologized to her fans, saying she was too young when she posed for photos at the time and that her lack of posing skills has probably sent the wrong message about the purpose of the photos.

“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 traditional ao dai and Vietnamese women.

I apologize for all the inconveniences caused when you see these photos.

I hope to have your sympathy and another chance to contribute to the community,” she wrote.

Dong said the Ministry 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.

“Celebrities should always keep a good image, watch what they say and protect the country’s traditional values.”

Source: Tuoi Tre Online


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