Tuesday, August 12, 2008

China's Ugly Face Begins to Show

Seven-Year-Old Chosen to Sing at Opening Ceremonies Told She Isn't Pretty Enough

Associated Content: As the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics fade into memory, one image that remains is the face of the nine-year-old girl, Lin Miaoke, who sang China's "Ode to the Motherland" in Bird's Nest Stadium. Or did she? China Daily reports that the process for choosing Miaoke was a long one. Also in the running for the singing debut was seven-year-old Yang Peiyi. According to the Times Online, Peiyi was tapped to sing- until it was learned that her teeth were crooked. At the last minute, Chinese Olympic officials chose Miaoke to be the face and Peiyi to be the voice. The Olympic opening ceremony's music director confirmed in an online article that Miaoki was chosen for her looks.

Lip-synching is not unheard of, especially in the North American music industry. However, telling a beautiful and talented seven-year-old that she is not pretty enough to represent her country is an abomination and speaks volumes about China's penchant for showing the world only the China they want to present. As a mother with a son involved in professional acting, I know how devastating it is for a child to hear that their physical appearance is not good enough. For developing girls, this can lead to self-esteem issues, especially in China- a country whose devaluation of women is ingrained in their culture.

This is certainly not the only example of China putting on a fa├žade for the Olympic public. According to the Times Online, China has also admitted to filling Olympic venues with yellow-jacketed enthusiastic volunteers to make the events look sold out. Prior to this admission, China had announced to the world that most events were indeed sold out. Not only was this announcement not true, Chinese Olympic officials have scrambled to make the optics appear so. This leads to the question: what else are Chinese officials covering up? Celebrities and world leaders attend the Olympic events and have somehow managed to disconnect the abusive and suppressive China they know from the fictional glitzy Olympic host China is portraying.
OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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