NOT hot enough. Mannish-looking. Sarong Party Girl.
Poor Tania Lim. The reigning local beauty queen has been hit by brickbats from all corners ever since she was crowned this year's Miss Singapore Universe (MSU) in May.
First, there were the disgruntled fans of hot favourite and eventual runner-up Annabel Tan, who did not hesitate to voice their disappointment online, following Lim's upset victory, claiming Lim was not as "hot" as Tan.
Photographs of the 22-year-old account executive posing with Caucasian men soon surfaced, causing netizens to label her a Sarong Party Girl (SPG).
To add salt to the wound, she wasn't spared from a barrage of personal attacks, in the form of disparaging comments such as how she is "mannish-looking" and "too dark-skinned for a Chinese woman".
In an interview with The New Paper, the svelte 1.75m beauty queen admitted: "Initially, I was quite affected by the negative remarks, but I got over it quickly. I didn't reach the stage of feeling too down.
"There is no point if I keep harping on these criticisms. I just have to tell myself, for every bad comment I receive, surely, there must be a good one to counter it."
Lim was at Hayden Boutique for a fitting of the two evening gowns she'll be donning at the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas come Aug 23.
Lim, who is flying there tomorrow, addressed the flak she has received good-naturedly, even the particularly unkind one which criticised her for being "mannish- looking".
She chuckled and said: "Well, I do have stronger, more chiselled features."
She explained that her shoulders are slightly broader than the average girl - a result of her competitive swimming days.
"I swam competitively through primary and secondary school," said Lim. "But I stopped swimming five years ago and gradually lost the bulk."
As for the comment about her tanned looks, Lim, who's Peranakan-Chinese, believes it is because previous MSU winners have all been "very fair-skinned".
"But if you look at the international arena, the contestants from Philippines, Thailand and even the US are often tanned. They tend to do well in the competition too," she said. She also defended herself over the so-called "SPG" photos that were taken off her Facebook
page and posted on a public forum.
Said Lim: "My conscience is clear, I have friends of different races, there's nothing wrong
with that. Singapore is a cosmopolitan society after all.
"Plus, the photos were taken in a proper setting... they weren't sensational at all. It's not as if I was in my undies."
She said she has the undying support of her boyfriend of two years, an Englishman in his late 20s who works as a director in an international property firm here.
It is her longest relationship to date, Lim said.
"After those photos made the news, he just laughed it off. He did toy with the idea of going up to Las Vegas with me for the pageant, but we eventually dropped the idea as I'd be too busy to accompany him then."
Both her evening gowns are fuchsia pink, made from pure silk chiffon, and were specially designed by renowned local fashion designer Hayden Ng.
"I chose the vivid colour as it matches Tania's skin tone very well," explained Ng, 44.
"Also, it's trendy and works for TV. It'll make her stand out among the other girls."
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