Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Projecting an Unintended Image

The little Chinese girl, Lin Miaoke, who starred in the opening ceremonies for the Olympics apparently singing the Chinese patriotic song, "Ode to the Motherland", turned out to be only lip-synching the song. The girl whose voice was actually heard, Yang Peiyi, was banned from singing the song in public because she was not considered "attractive enough" for the world to see. Her "imperfections" are a chubby face and uneven teeth.

The two girls are nine and seven years old.

"The reason why little Yang was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image, we were thinking about what was best for the nation," Chen Qigang, the general music designer of the ceremony, said, "The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression,"

Oh, they're projecting an image, all right. An ugly image.

They're telling the world that an individual's worth is summed up by their physical appearance, not in their inherent worth as human beings and this accident of birth trumps anything they've worked to achieve.

They're telling the world that even little girls must conform to a narrow, sexualized idea of beauty -- I'm sure many pedophiles would be quick to agree. They are saying those who don't measure up to the narrow definition of what is considered fashionably attractive at any point in history are a lesser form of human beings who should hide themselves from public view and never be seen doing anything worthwhile or fun.

I think it's sickening.

This incident reminds me of something I once saw on a talk show in the early 90s. Martha Wash, a plus size singer who recorded the dance song, "Everybody Dance Now", was barred from performing her own song on a music video and was replaced by a svelte lip-syncher, simply because she was not thin.

That disgusted me then, and the incident with the little Chinese girls disgust me even more because they are children.



Jay said...

Oh yeah. Many thoughts. I agree with you - every word.

When I heard that the little girl had been lip-synching I immediately thought 'I bet the real singer isn't pretty enough', and I'm very sad to hear that's the truth.

My second thought was 'if that's true I think I'd have refused to sing, if it had been me', but as my Other Half reminded me. 'Not in China, you wouldn't'.

So very sad.

Ori said...

So much of the open and closing ceremonies were lip synched, it was really sad. The "ugliness" issue aside, it shows a lack of trust almost. It's like, everything must be perfect, what might happen if we gave them an open mike. T'is a shame.