Avert your eyes, because Kanthicha "Yui" Chimsiri has been stripped of her "Suwan Chedi" costume.
Okay, you can look again, because the sponsors of her bid to become Mrs Universe 2016 have come up with a much less controversial outfit for her to wear at the pageant in Guangzhou in August.
The most eyebrow-raising costume ever proposed for a Thai contestant in a “beauty” pageant, the Suwan Chedi replicated the sacred Sri Rattana pagoda at Wat Phra Kaew. The Culture Ministry was appalled and devout Buddhists everywhere were frothing.
A new outfit for 31-year-old Yui is now being prepared, a relieved Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat announced at a press conference this week.
“On the international beauty pageant circuit, Thailand is known for national costumes that reflect our abundance of cultural assets,” Veera said, “and we have won several prestigious awards.
“There are many other cultural elements that can be used to create a magnificent costume [besides, you know, venerated Buddhist monuments]. The new costume for Mrs Universe will have no religious references and instead take its inspirations from the palm-leaf-fish mobile and ears of rice to reflect the typical agricultural way of life. And it will be made with traditional Thai fabrics.”
Yui is naturally delighted to be getting a new wardrobe. “I’m very proud to be representing Thailand and showcasing our beautiful culture before the world,” she says. “The design and fitting process is underway and 70 per cent of the costume will be golden in colour.”
Singer In alters course
Nattarinporn “In” Yuenyong, singer for the all-female pop-rock group Budokan, has just got married – to a guy, surprisingly enough.
In has always dated girls and been quite open about that particular gender preference. But earlier this week it was a man, lucky restaurateur Suppachai “Jon” Prommin, who was swapping wedding rings with her. He’d proposed to her last year.
“It was love at first sight,” In sighs to Sanook.com. “He’s very handsome, and he takes great care of me. I’ve never met anyone – man or woman – who treats me the way he does.
“And I wanted to get married too. I’m 41 and an only child, so my parents were fretting that I’d end up alone in life. It was just perfect timing that I met Jon.
“Of course he knows about my past relationships. We’re both mature adults and we know better than to dwell on the past.”
The wedding was a humble affair with just family and friends – and not even an Instagram snap to share with the multitudes.
“I didn’t want to make a big fuss of it,” In says. “To be honest I don’t know how to explain myself to the fans or the public. I am who I am, and I don’t need a gender label to uphold my identity. It’s just not relevant, especially when it comes to love. I’m just the same person, but now with a husband!”