Olympics and Appearance

Yikes.

Twice today I'm seeing a very problematic issue with the olympics and appearance. 

First there is the story of Yang Peiyi.  She is the perfectly adorable child whose voice was hear during the opening ceremony.  She, however did not appear on camera as the officials felt that she did not fit the image that they wanted to portray.  Wow, what a Message for a small girl to have to shoulder. 

Secondly, there was a "feature" piece on the Olympic Hostesses for the Games.  Apparently they had a required height, weight etc.  It is a bit eerie how alike all the girls look. 

Now, I really have not paid any attention to the hostesses, beyond the opening ceremonies when they stood with water bottles in holsters and cheering like Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders on the sidelines. 

China defends all these descisions stating that putting forth a certain image is important for the Nation. 

My personal opinion is that this is really rather reprehensible. 

Yang Peiyi is adorable.  She has talent.  Sure her teeth aren't perfect, but she is SIX years old.  To me she is really representative of high achievement and talent that is in China.  She was chosen for her very beautiful voice and her ability to harness it.  the other girl was cute, but just a pretty face.

So the image put forth by China to me is that they still do not value people as individuals.   People are valued for conforming to a preset notion, rather than for thoughts, feelings or acheievements. So, while I will enjoy the games, I'm not thrilled with China.  NBC has been touting the progress made by China.  Clearly they have a far way to go.

Personally for Medal presenters at the Olympics, I think Special Olympians would be the best presenters. 

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8 thoughts on “Olympics and Appearance

  1. I had heard rumours, but hadn't seen the full article til now. That's just appalling. That poor little girl – she sang so beautifully as well.
    I did read an article all about how the hostesses were trained for hours and hours, part of which included having to grip a chopstick between their teeth for hours to force them to smile properly…
    Can't help wondering why they won the vote to hold the Olympics there, they talk about national pride, but only if the population conform… no celebration of individuality in the slightest. Makes me shudder.

  2. I read about the little girl yesterday and was really disappointed — though not terribly surprised I'm afraid. The part with the "hostesses" is pretty creepy in a way.
    I also thought it was interesting that the 2008 drummers at the opening all seemed to have hair about the same length — my guess is that a month before they buzzed them all clean so that everything would be uniform.

  3. what do you expect, they are trying to put there best look forward sweep any unrest under the rug and even when an American tourist was killed the president of china denied even knowing about it 7 hours later! and that with it being in all the news that day! especially when He was a good friend with one American team, not 100% sure which one but he was best friends with the coach??But anyway they are on world display so round up all the beauties who look alike and anyone not fitting into that perfect perfection of beauty then hide them away!

  4. Andrew and I were talking about this a little last night. We were watching women's gymnastic discussing the wonders about the Chinese women being under 16. I wonder what it would be like to be wisked away at age 3 to be formed into a gymnast.
    The US isn't perfect as far as what it takes to train, dedication, possibility of being pushed too hard by parents, etc., but it doesn't seem nearly as bad as China. US models have that *perfect* image that's almost fake compared to the average person.
    It's too bad that image is so important. I would have hoped that being in the big world spotlight that things would be different.

  5. …they still do not value people as individuals. People are valued for conforming to a preset notion…Isn't that one of the tenets of communism? "Serve the greater good" seemed to permeate the opening ceremony.It was pretty cool, though, that your runner Lomong got to carry the flag.

  6. Yes its a tenet of Communism, but I guess I would hope that in that case people would be valued for service to the greater good rather than physical appearance…but I suppose thats just too much to expect!

  7. China is a very foreign place, not just geographically but philosophically as well. The youngster would likely have little pride or ego to be bruised by not being shown on camera. Her role in the greater good is to sing, and that is what she does; being on camera plays no part in her role and so it is not considered an insult when it does not happen.
    I'm not defending these actions. Rather, I think that China is just so different to what we as free people believe, it is hard to truely empathise with them.

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