Only Pretty Children Can Sing At Our Olympics!

13 August 2008 at 2:02 pm (News, Televison, World Issues) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Imagine my shock this morning when I opened the paper to read a small article about China using a pretty child to lip synch over a decidedly “unpretty” child’s voice for Beijing’s Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Now, this has me pissed. Why? Because the ceremonies music director has deemed, “in national interest” what is “cute” and what isn’t. This is wrong to me. These kids are 7-years old. Explain to me how the one who didn’t get on TV felt knowing her voice was the best but her looks weren’t? Is there not already enough pressure on our young girls to look a certain way physically, now, when they shine in another department, they STILL can’t be celebrated?

Mind you, this is half way around the world. In no way can China’s standards of beauty be a reflection of North America’s standards. I mean, this is a country that places more value on a boy child’s life than a girls’. But that’s another blog for another day in itself. I wonder if this is a cultural thing over there. And if it REALLY is in national interest. I don’t want to think the Chinese people as a whole are that shallow. I really don’t.  The statement issued is, and I quote: “The  national interest requires that the girl should have good looks and a good grasp of the song and look good on screen …. the audience will understand this was in national interest”  WTF?!? This is coming from the chief music director, Chen Qigang, himself. Apparently, the change was last minute to accommodate the wishes of China’s communist party, the Politburo who told them “there was a problem, and (it) needed to be fixed.”  Apparently, the problem was Yang Peiyi’s chubby face and crooked teeth. What kind message does this send to our youth?

Even if the little girl knew this was an issue ahead of time, who is really going to sit there and complain about a small child with an amazing voice, to be too ugly to look at while enjoying the Olympics opening ceremonies!? You’ve got to be kidding me. Instead I’d rather watch a pretty little pig tailed girl lip synch her way through someone else’s song and take all the glory, applause and praise? Riiiiiiiiight.  I saw the two pics of the children. I think the actual singer is quite cute. There’s no “problem” with her in my eyes.

Peiyi, left, Miaoke, right

Peiyi, left, Miaoke, right

It brings me to my problem with this whole issue of who do we think we are that can publicly claim who we think is pretty vs who isn’t? ESPECIALLY, when it comes to children!  I’m not naive. I know that the “pretty people” fare better in the real world than decidedly non-pretty people but still, who decides this? Music directors, government, the public? Who? Everyone has a preference to what they find beautiful but I believe when it comes to children there just shouldn’t be this issue. THEY ARE KIDS. They are innocent until idiot adults put poison in their minds.

Imagine little Yang Peiyi hearing herself on the TV but seeing someone else singing. Maybe I’m being dramatic or maybe I’m being a bit much but I would bet my last dollar that the child was confused and above all else hurt and wondering why she wasn’t the one up there being applauded for her talent. Her self esteem is more than likely taking a huge blow and I haven’t seen the clip of the ceremonies as yet so I cant say how acclaimed her voice is but if this situation is getting press coverage over here in Canada, I’m sure its getting coverage there and other places. The other girl is getting all of Yang’s spotlight and glory and that just isn’t right to me. I don’t blame the other child. She’s a victim in this as well. I blame the powers that be. And I can’t say I’m not upset this small scandal on a great scale was exposed. Looks good on ’em is what I say.

I hope her parents are taking good care of her right now and weren’t willing participants in letting this happen. From a mother’s standpoint I’d be hard pressed to tell them to go fuck themselves. If my daughter can’t sing AND be on TV then find someone else but then at the same time, it could be a grand opportunity to get (at the very least) my daughter’s voice heard. At the end of the day, though, my decision would be based on what my child wanted, provided she understood the situation as best as I could explain it to her.

The grand scheme of things here, is that the world objectifies and at times exploits women. I’m not a feminist but I call it like I see it. I read about girls at a younger and younger age suffering from eating disorders all the time. About them wanting plastic surgery and wearing make up and revealing clothes before they’ve reached high school – heck, before they make it all the way through elementary school. It’s sad because the world’s view on “beauty” is so distorted and fucked up and in this recent case at the Olympics I find it probably won’t get better anytime soon. I implore all parents of young daughters to love them. Tell them and show them how important they are. Make them know they are more than what’s on the outside. Self love starts at home. Don’t allow the world to tell our daughter’s they aren’t good enough or pretty enough.

The world shouldn’t have a say in how we view ourselves. I don’t care if that’s life. That reasoning just isn’t good enough for me.



Source: 24 hours … local Toronto newspaper (no link provided)
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  1. carla said,

    ha! all right corprah. but youve got to always remember now, how much of a powerhouse america really is.

  2. Corprah Lanfrey said,

    yes, i know i know *sigh*
    I’m just trying to be the change I call for, you know.

    I just hate that they did this to such a young girl. And for what? National pride? its so dumb and unreasonable.

  3. fdsa said,

    Chinese people are shallow.

  4. Corprah Lanfrey said,

    ^^ i didnt want to be the one to say it .. but i cant lie and say I havent heard that sentiment before.

    all i know is … if this were involving adults i wouldnt be upset if at all … i mean, adults can (generally) handle rejection well … they’ve experienced it before … but children? they’re still fragile!

  5. D Inspectah said,

    im almost glad that this came out because as someone else has already stated, there are a lot of ignorant people in the world and the fact that China didn’t hide this scandal and actually JUSTIFIED it needs to be known. these things cant continue

    i seriously hope that the little girl that actually had the talent has a great support system and that the country does something for her to gain the spotlight.

    hopefully China will realize the mistake and never repeat it. …especially in this day and age **shaking my head**

  6. bluesky83 said,

    This situation is like telling me that every magician in this world must perform a true magic and can’t fake it.
    Tell that to David Copperfield.

    Then why don’t start a debate forcing those Magicians to perform a true magic.
    Get real people…

    People who bought the ticket and paid thousand of $ expect to see a flawless and great performance. And China did it! This is A BIG EVENT and there is absolutely zero tolerance for error! They spend $ 40 billion , you better be damn sure to make it work and flawless.

    I give full credit for the Chinese Government for all the effort to produced probable the best ever Olympic ceremony.

    So what is they use both girls? fake fireworks? etc etc… so? The girls don’t have problem with it, they agreed to do their part for the ceremony. The government did not force the girls to do it or to make it happen. So? As long as those girls were willing to do it in the best of the country, I don’t see a problem with that. This would have been a different matter if they were forced to do it.

    Speaking of the girls at GYM… USA lost against China in Gym. And people started to blaming that the chinese team are all underage. LOL… I found this very funny. I don’t even think the USA performed that well during the game.

    They should concentrate on the game and not worrying about how old each of those girl int he Chinese team. if you LOST then accept it.

    This is also like telling me hmm maybe Michael Phelps is using drug, illegal swimsuit, etc etc in order for him to win. Bull shit… I think he is done a very superb performance and no one complained about him. / Questioned his legality.

    I think people are just jealous with the way how China was able to pull off the best opening ceremony for Olympic ever. And started making research on every little tiny mistakes that they can find to make the China bad.

    This opening ceremony is a work of art. A TEAM work from every department and personnel. Therefore, a full 100% credit should be given to all of them, whether, you are singing or not singing, even to cleaning crew and security guard!

    Good job China…. By the way I am not Anti US and I live in US. But I just find these whole faking situation is really funny.

  7. purplexity said,

    What a disappointing and shallow act by the officials and the games organiser. Children shouldn’t at all be judged that way.

  8. Corprah Lanfrey said,

    blue sky: I thank you for your response and respect your opinion but your comparisons of magicians and Michael Phelps to this situation make no sense to me. Magicians are KNOWN for their tricks and illusions … people go to see a musician wanting to be entertained but they also KNOW that what they get MAY NOT be what they see … if you BELIEVE in magic then so be it .. if you DONT be believe but want to be entertained so be it as well. The problem with THIS situation is that people did not KNOW they were being duped til AFTER the ceremony and this news story broke. They, along with the rest of the world watching, were MISLED to believe the child on the screen and before their eyes was the child singing. This was not a MAGIC trick … this was NOT an illusion .. this was a blatant lie. Yes, they say they did it for a flawless show, but are you saying that CHILDREN’S LOOKS can make the show FLAWED JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE DEEMED THE ACTUAL CHILD UNPRETTY? Are you agreeing with this sentiment? Are you shallow? Its not so much WHAT they did, bluesky, its their reasoning behind it. You must be able to see that at least. As far as your Michael Phelps comment. I dont get that at all. Why would you just all of a sudden question an athlete out of nowhere and how does this in ANY way relate to this situation. Sadly, all atheletes at one time or another, in their career, come under scrutiny for performance enhancing drugs .. and if they test positive they are sripped of their medals. So they are punished for their actions; again I’m not sure where this relates to the situation at hand. Maybe we need to strip China of their dignity and fake morals? What are you trying to say, there? lol … With your comment, as well, about the girls having no problem with it, please show me a link or news article where those words came out of the girls’ mouths. I’m not saying they were forced but you dont have to be a teacher or a parent or north american or chinese to know that a 7 yr old cannot possibly 100% understand the ramifications and consequences of an action like this. And I’ll tell you something else, of course little Lin Miaoke wont have a problem with this … she’s the one that initially got all the adulation.

  9. Kristen said,

    So the most unexpected photo finish from Beijing last week came from the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. When two pictures of two girls unveiled that the adorable Lin Miaoke was actually lip-syncing to the voice of “less adorable” Yang Peiyi, the world’s reaction went up a whole octave.

    I overheard the following responses:





    Personally, I find Yang’s round face and wide eyes much cuter than the Lin’s Mouseketeer-like poses but let’s look past their looks for a broader discussion and answer the above questions.

    1. Who do the Chinese think they are……… AMERICA?! Lip-syncing was our idea and we can prove it. Roll back that footage of Ashlee Simpson and Britney Spears. Hit the archives for Milli Vanilli.

    2. When the games end, challenge yourself. Go through The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, etc. and try to find one child that could be deemed flat out ugly (chubby doesn’t qualify). The only face time America invests into an “ugly child” is for a reality TV makeover.

    3. Yes, China could fill a sky full of lies – and they did with fake fireworks – but I’m pretty sure the American airbrush was going to touch up each star before it hit our newsstands regardless.

    4. After Julia Roberts broke up with Lyle Lovett, did we ever see his face in the mainstream? How long was it before Clay Aiken was transformed by stylists? Other than a few stars who defy beauty for their rebel image (i.e. Amy Winehouse), who doesn’t care about looks?

    Remember, the world is round. If we point the finger of blame far enough East, it’ll end up coming right back on us.

  10. Corprah Lanfrey said,

    great comment, Kristen. I cant say ur lying about that at all. thanks for your POV.

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