Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not Cute Enough?

So the Chinese decided that the girl whose voice we all heard at the 2008 Olympics opening ceremonies was not cute enough to perform for all to see.

You see, she had crooked teeth.

This little girl, this little 7-year-old named Yang Peiyi (on the left), was not quite pretty or perfect enough. The Chinese had an image to protect, they said. Or project.


Whatever their reason it is not good enough.

Peiyi has been quoted as saying she didn’t mind being shoved off-stage for Little Miss Adorable, a 9-year-old named Lin Miaoke.

Right. Maybe she has actually convinced herself of that.

But how can anyone feel okay being essentially hidden from view because while her voice is beautiful, she just doesn’t cut it looks-wise?

That girl should be angry. At the very least, I have to believe she’s hurt.

I know I’d be.

And then I have to wonder what message this sends to young girls, even young women everywhere.

Hell, it bothers me. Something like that would haunt me forever.

It actually makes me sick.

But of course this kid can get her teeth fixed. Surely when she’s old enough she will.

Especially after this.

So will others with teeth like hers. Looks like hers. Makeup, plastic surgery, hair extensions, Spanx follow.

Don’t like your looks? Fix it. Not acceptable to others? Fix it.

On some level I understand this celebration of beauty. In the natural world, the better looking, the stronger prevail. They attract the best mates, the best birds and bees. Beauty is their way to flourish. That’s what evolution is all about. Adapt. Survive. Adapt. Survive.

But we are different.


At least some of the time, we can look into someone’s heart and see beauty that might not win beauty contests. We find something to cherish in someone’s laugh, warmth, intelligence, humor.

But looks. This is still something we struggle with. I thought we were better than this.

I mean: It’s a kid. A 7-year-old kid.

God forbid she be a burn victim or deformed.

But she’s a kid. And a cute kid, too.

Why can’t the Chinese see that?

Can we see that?

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