Posted in: Opinion

Miss Universe Thailand Steps Down Following Social Media Backlash

Miss Universe Thailand Weluree Ditsayabut

If you’re Miss Universe Thailand, it turns out you can’t call for the political opposition’s execution without someone calling you fat.

Miss Universe Thailand, Weluree Ditsayabut, has stepped down following a social media backlash. The decision follows an uproar in the social media tied to her Facebook and Twitter comments.

Weluree Ditsayabut, also known as Nong Fai, gave up her title of Miss Universe Thailand after a month of heavy, negative feedback from online social circles. The 22-year-old English student and talk show host resigned in tears less than a month after her May 17 crowning. The first part of the controversy comes from her Facebook remarks made months ago. Khaosod English reports she stated:

I am not neutral. I am on the side of His Majesty the King.

I’m so angry at these evil activists. They should all be executed.

Some sympathizers have pointed out that with the political unrest in Thailand, Nong Fai’s comments concerning the Red Shirts are not any different from thousands of other angry Pro-Royalists. The difference appears to be that she is, or rather was, Miss Universe Thailand. One can easily Google beauty pageant answers and watch contestants mumble incoherent, stroke-like responses to the simplest of questions. A nerdy torture segment instituted for no other reason than to give the models a reality check. When examined in such a context, it’s refreshing to see a Miss-Anything that actually has a political view. But even in a country where there’s such instability, calling for executions doesn’t bode well for those in the public eye.

In September of 2006, a military coup unseated the Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, and the country has been in political unrest since. In April of 2010, Red Shirts protests led to a confrontation with the army that left 87 dead and over 1,300 injured. In July of 2011, Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra won the general election. Political stability unravelled quickly again for Thailand starting on May 7, 2014, when Yingluck was forced to step down as Prime Minister. On May 20 the Thai army declared martial law, announcing a coup only two days later. And still people were cheering on the bathing suit competition.

Red Shirt Protest 2010

Red Shirt Protest 2010

The other side of the controversy, that is somehow holding the same media weight as the political unrest, is the crowning itself. As every reality show viewer knows, the favorite doesn’t always win. So is the case with Miss Universe Thailand. Pimbongkod “Ellie” Chankaew, who took second place, appeared to be the crowd favorite. The crowds booed and chanted “Keep on fighting Ellie” as Nong Fai was crowned. Afterwards, angry viewers attacked Nong Fai via Facebook and Twitter, comparing her to Godzilla and calling her fat. Fai responded at a Bangkok hotel thanking the people for both the good and bad comments and explaining her decision to relinquish the title of Miss Universe Thailand.

At first, my family was happy for me when I was crowned. But there’s no more happiness following waves of criticism from the society.

The Phuket News reports that the organizers of Miss Universe Thailand may screen prospective contestant’s social media in the future. Perhaps all beauty contestants should have their Facebook and Twitter pages reviewed for less than intelligent posts. What do you think the lineup would look like next year?

Image via Daily Mail Online

Image via Wikipedia

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One Response to “Miss Universe Thailand Steps Down Following Social Media Backlash”

  1. Anonymous

    In Thailand money and family connections can buy you anything. I am glade she step down. She is not a very smart person.