Myanmar’s juicy social media dramas unfold maddeningly every day with crazy users slinging harsh comments.
There’s always something for the keyboard warriors to battle over, and this week, it is the very serious matter of national beauty pageant costumes driving the attention of thousands.
Specifically, a storm of opinions has been raging online after photos of all the regional costume candidates for Miss Universe Myanmar were posted online and went viral. Some love them; others find them overly ridic.
The more than 30 costumes all bear remarkable names of locales such as Mandalay, Yangon (East, West, South & North!), Naypyidaw, Mogok, Monywa and Taunggyi. All were created by young Myanmar fashion designers and feature accessories unique to each place: Miss Aungban is a wine barrel, Miss Mogok a ruby.
However intended, the fabulous costumes veer from fantasy folklore to fronting consumer goods – one looks like a truck – and quickly became punchlines to jokes by merciless netizens.
“Are Dawei people born from eggs?” one user wondered.
“Did you copy from the Vietnamese?” someone asked/accused Miss Monywa’s designer
Winning the most universal praise was that of Hakha.
It also won the most reactions, with 4,700+ on Facebook.
Even pageant fans from many neighboring nations such as Thailand dropped by to comment.
“The design is very cool and breathtakingly beautiful. I am truly amazed by its uniqueness. Good job,” wrote one Facebook user from Thailand.
On Sunday, the costumes were put on display in a performance at the Kanbawzathadi Palace in Bago.
Following up with the competition, Phyo Pyae, a judge from last year’s competition, said five costumes would be chosen to compete in later this year at Miss Universe Myanmar.
“Among all candidates, we will choose five prizes; four prizes by judges and one prize goes to public vote. We carefully chose costumes that stand out and can tell a story of Myanmar in the middle of the world just by looking at them,” he said.
Voting instructions will soon be announced online. But, as of today, no date has been announced for the pageant due to restrictions in place to contain COVID-19.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!