Is half-white the new beauty trend in Miss Universe Thailand?

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Bangkok, Thailand – Miss Universe Thailand is one of the most admired and watched national beauty pageants from around the world. In 2018, TPN Global Group acquired the Miss Universe franchise for Thailand from the previous owners. Since the new owner of the TPN Miss Universe Thailand organization, they have received much positive feedback for the gracious and spectacular production of their preliminary and final events. TPN Global is also responsible for producing one of the most loved Miss Universe final shows including the 2018 edition where we witness the outgoing and beautiful Catriona Gray as the victorious winner wearing the iconic Mikimoto pearl crown. There is no question regarding their handling of the production side as Thailand as a country has proved many times that they know how to deliver a stunning show, many pageant fans appreciate that Thai organizations never disappoint when it comes to production. In this article, we will discuss TPN Miss Universe Thailand’s obsession with crowning half-white winners from 2019 until the present day.

In 2019, the first winner under the TPN Global management was the gorgeous Thai-Canadian beauty Fahsai Paweensuda Drouin, her statuesque physique, towering height of 180cm 5 feet 11 inches tall with her attractive Eurasian features, fluency in English language made her standout during the national finals of Miss Universe Thailand 2019 contest. At the same event, Fahsai was holding hands with Thai American beauty Miriam from Chiang Mai as the last two standing before the big announcement of the winner. Fahsai went through intense preparation for the international contest which was held in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America. After the Top 10 placement from the previous Thai representative, Fahsai had many high expectations from the global pageant fans to win the third Miss Universe crown for her country. However, she ended up in the Top 5 finalist where South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi came out as the victorious winner.

In 2020, Miss Universe Thailand went to the cute and sexy Amanda Obdam, a Thai Canadian beauty from Phuket. Amanda was crowned by fellow Thai Canadian Fahsai Paweensuda Drouin. The national competition was full of strong delegates in the 2020 edition with frontrunners like Veena Praveenar Singh, Punika Kulsoontornrut, Praewwanich Ruangthong, and many others. Just like Fahsai, Amanda was fully prepared when she traveled with 10 suitcases to Miami, Florida for the international contest. Amanda was praised for her unique runway walk and her oceanic blue evening gown to reflect her hometown of Phuket Island. Despite the great performance, Amanda did not manage to reach the final round of Top 5 finalists and finished as a Top 10 semi-finalist.

In 2021, Annchilee Scott Kemmis, a Thai Australian beauty from Chachaeongsao located next to Bangkok became the first ever plus-size woman to win Miss Universe Thailand. She impressed the judges with her “Real Size Beauty” motto from the audition round until the national final where she gave a powerful and inspiring answer to motivate people about self-love and acceptance. After her amazing performance at Miss Universe Thailand, the fans were left speechless after her lackluster performance during the Preliminary Competition at Miss Universe 2021 held in Israel. The lack of energy and horrendous evening gown resulted in Thailand becoming unplaced at Miss Universe, breaking their 6-year placing streak. This was the beginning of the disappointment from pageant fans towards the TPN Miss Universe organization. Their neglection of preparing Ann’s runway presentation to style left many people unhappy with the choices made by the TPN Miss Universe organization.

In 2022, the Miss Universe Thailand crown went to the humble and down-to-earth Anna Sueangam-iam who was raised in poverty as her family worked for recycling and garbage collection in Bangkok Metropolitan City. Anna was born to a Thai German father and a Thai mother. Her modest background, raised among the kind female monks in the Thai Buddhist Temple, made her realize the importance of gratitude and sincerity. Anna was praised highly by international media platforms for her inspirational story and her recycled can bottle opener evening gown she wore during the Miss Universe 2022 Preliminary Competition in New Orleans, United States of America. Despite her incredible performance and inspirational advocacy focused on a sustainable lifestyle. Anna became unplaced at the international contest, making her the second Thai woman to fail to make the semi-finalist under the TPN Global management. This disappointment showed the TPN Miss Universe Thailand organization's inconsistency in listening to the fans' suggestions to improve and train their delegate for a positive outcome. 

What went wrong with Miss Universe Thailand?

Since 2019, their focus on crowning half-white delegates with Eurocentric features, light complexion, and emphasis on the English language has resulted in a lack of authentic Thai winners. Every year, many Thai women with beautiful brown skin compete to become Thai representatives at Miss Universe. Unfortunately, due to their lack of fluency in the English language and not fitting into the beauty standard set by Miss Universe Thailand. This has resulted in similar types of winners, becoming repetitive, predictable, and lacking representation of Thai women. Before TPN, A good example is Chalita Suansane, although she spoke the Thai language during the question-and-answer round, she was calm, composed, and fearless on the runway. Her dedication and passion for Thailand made her beloved by many Filipino fans during Miss Universe 2016 where she finished Top 6 when it was held in Manila, Philippines. After the ownership of TPN Global, the winners all fit the same mold of half white women with fair skin which does not represent the majority of the Thai female population who have olive to brown skin. Last year’s 2nd Runner-Up Eye Kanyalak Nookaew gave an outstanding performance from the audition round to the final event however, she was overlooked because she did not fit the beauty ideals and did not speak English properly. This is an important issue that Miss Universe Thailand must address as they have continued disregarding the diverse beauty of Thai women. The last two years of unplacement at Miss Universe should be enough alert for the TPN Global group to open their eyes to different possibilities. Representation is very important for young people who admire and watch beauty queens as role models. If Thailand wants to continue to place or win its long-awaited third Miss Universe crown since 1988, it is time for TPN Miss Universe Thailand to change its perspective and find a new direction. It is time for the Thailand sash to be presented by a beautiful tanned skin woman who embodies the essence of the Thai people. The Thai delegate needs to be the identity of a Thai woman like hard work, love for the nation, dedication to religion, and being the best symbol for her country on the international stage. To add to this case, the first edition of TPN Global group produced Miss Thailand 2022 contest, the first winner was Thai American beauty Manita Farmer.


Let's take a look at these extraordinary ladies who have been snubbed by the Miss Universe Thailand organization and have ended up successful on the international platform. In 2020, Praewwanich Ruangthong originally placed 3rd Runner-Up at Miss Universe Thailand, later she won Miss Supranational Thailand and finished 1st Runner-Up at Miss Supranational 2022 contest held in Poland. Despite her lack of fluency in the English language, Praew stood confident as she gave her final answer in her native Thai language. Firstwang Patraporn Wang who had competed twice at Miss Universe Thailand 2019 and 2022, became the first Thai woman to win the Miss Intercontinental 2014 crown.  Punika Kulsoontornrut who was unplaced at Miss Universe Thailand 2013 and 2nd Runner-Up position at Miss Universe Thailand 2020 has made the Top 3 finalists at Miss Earth 2013 and Miss International 2014 respectively. These three ladies are the testament, sending Thai women who are proud of their Thai heritage and language to make great Thai ambassadors for the Miss Universe pageant. It is high time, for the TPN Global Miss Universe Thailand organization to select a winner who reflects the core of Thai culture and people.

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