Do international beauty contest participants necessarily represent their countries?

Do international beauty contest participants necessarily represent their countries?
Contestants from Mister Global Pageant 2015 included, from left to right, France’s Bryan Weber (fourth place), Thailand’s Apiwit Kunadireck (third place), Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Son (first place), Venezuela’s Yuber Jimenez (second place) and Brazil’s Diogo Bernardes (fifth place).

Many Vietnamese have thought for a long time that local beauty pageant contestants who attend regional or global contests represent their country in the international arena. We talk often about how these girls embody our country's "reputation."

These thoughts led to the creation of a law requiring those who want to participate in beauty contests abroad to have at least one national title before they can be selected by the ministry to represent the country.

Recently Vietnamese authorities have said they would not recognise a local man's victory at a beauty contest in Thailand, because he entered without the State's permission.

Nguyen Van Son, a member of the national Taekwondo team, is also facing a fine of up to VND30 million (S$2,084) for competing in Mister Global 2015.

Over the past two years, nearly a dozen Vietnamese women have entered beauty pageants without any official endorsements, and faced penalties when they returned to Vietnam.

What is your view on this way of thinking? Is the country's reputation represented through beauty contests? Do people in your country need permission to participate in beauty contests abroad?

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