Beauty, it seems, is not just skin deep. (Well we knew that, didn't we?). Beauty comes in many forms - but I fear somewhere, somehow, we really are losing the plot if we believe that only in the "west" do we understand what makes a person, in this case, beautiful and acceptable.
As Westerners we have been, in recent history, destroyers of economies, setting new benchmarks in greed, setting bad examples in consumption and failing to save our money - and now we want to interfere with what we believe is judged "beautiful". Give me a break!
You may not have heard of Lou Zilin, but if not you will soon. She is a mainland Chinese lady of 24, who has won China's beauty pageant and who will therefore represent her country in this year's Miss Universe pageant, but get this. Miss China is deemed to be too "Chinese", and has therefore been sent to that city of overwhelming taste and culture, New York, (I know, fingers down the throat!) to learn how to become more "western".
It is true that, to many westerners, certain Asian traits and mannerisms are "not polite". In our view, for example, there are better ways of expressing satisfaction with a meal than a loud burp, and we would not usually come straight out and ask how much you earn, but then who set us up as the custodians of polite behaviour?
And even that behaviour changes over time. For example, my generation (at least the males) would always walk on the outside of a lady - closest to the road. First because historically when roads were not made as they are today with drainage, there was a chance a lady's clothes would be splashed by passing traffic and the man was being protective both of the splashing but secondly also of the traffic itself. But even that changed from a time even further back in history when the man always walked on the inside of the lady, closest to the buildings, to protect her from being hit by objects, including chamberpots and their contents (night soil), chucked out of the windows above with no thought of what or who might be below.
I understand the point of view put forward in the particular case of China's representative for Miss Universe, that if she is at least made aware of the practices of the majority of contestants in the pageant she will not feel isolated, but I take exception to what seems to be the view that only what we do in the west is right and everyone else is therefore, by default, wrong.
I commented in April about Bertrand Russell's book, written in 1922 about China where he cautioned against China's civilisation being substituted by the American. It seems that he might not have been far wrong.