E! News has recently reported that, Ariana Miyamoto, is Japan’s new Miss Universe. Along with this, they have also noted the controversy she has brought upon the public. Miss Miyamoto is a native to Nagasaki and is perfectly fluent in Japanese. Ultimately, the current primary issue at stake is that she is what Japanese people would consider, “hafu” (a term often utilized to refer to a person of biracial descent).
Considering that Miyamoto’s mother is Japanese and her father African-American, Miyamoto readily admits, that not much of her physical appearance resembles the typical physique of a Japanese woman. This being the case, it is perhaps reasonable why many Japanese people may feel critical of her win. As it is undoubtedly true that physical appearance plays a great role in the Miss Universe Pageant. On one end of the spectrum it could be argued that Miyamoto cuts short the celebration of traditional Japanese beauty, thus alluding Japanese people to feel misrepresented. On the other end of the spectrum, Miyamoto assures that within she beholds many Japanese characteristics. As not all is backlash, one commentator shares the following about the controversy, “Even if you are hafu, if you have Japanese citizenship, then you’re Japanese”.
Being that we live in a society where we are trying to embrace diversity, is it perhaps not cynical to judge such a triumph?