Movie Review: Tiara – Asian Canadian Beauty pageants


Special contribution from Allan Cho

On Saturday May 19, I attended the 10th annual Multicultural Festival “DiverCity”at New Westminster’s Fraser River Discovery Centre where I was treated to a slate of Asian Canadian films organized by ExplorASIAN.  One of them was Montreal-based director Monica Mak’s “Tiara.”  An impressive and insightful short film about Asian Canadian beauty pageants, Tiara reveals the complexities and tensions that young females must endure in a commercially and financially lucrative industry of beauty.

The experiences of five former beauty pageant contestants show just how divisive the industry can be: while winners can go on to wealth and fame – landing mega contracts and careers in Hong Kong and India, going onto to careers in law and medicine, others suffer the consequences of finishing poorly and vulnerability of being judged solely on their physical beauty (or lack of it).   Tiara made me think differently about beauty pageants, it never occurred to me that ethnic pageantry had such a darker, seamier side of global commerce.

After the movie, we had a nice dinner at Wild Rice at the new River Market.  This Wild Rice was spectacular as we watched with amazement as the chefs at Wild Rice performed their cooking magic to their audiences through the magic of a looking glass window.   We were treated to a delicious evening of Asian fusion cuisine!    (photos of Wildrice Restaurant & Monica Mak)

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