A BURMESE beauty queen who was stripped of her title has run off with the £60,000 jewelled crown she was presented with, according to organisers.
May Myat Noe was crowned Miss Asia Pacific World in South Korea in May.
But, according to David Kim, director of media for the Seoul-based pageant, the 18-year-old was a disappointment from the start.
Her photograph has now been blacked out on the Miss Asia Pacific World website with the word “dethroned” stamped alongside her name.
Following her victory, the organisers said they would arrange singing and video deals for her.
Mr Kim said that one of the pageant’s primary goals was to turn winners into regional superstars – actresses, pop icons, and world-class models – and that meant changing the 5ft 7in teenager’s looks. He added: “It was decided that Noe’s breasts were too small and could hold her back, and she accepted an offer of enhancements.
“We thought she should be more beautiful, so we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts.
“It’s our responsibility. If she has no good nose, then maybe, if she likes, we can operate on her nose. If it’s breasts, then breasts.”
Sponsors picked up the £6,000 bill, as they had done for previous winners.
But that is when the troubles started, Mr Kim said, with the beauty queen taking her mother to Seoul for what was supposed to be a ten-day visit, but which stretched into three months.
Organisers said that the teenager “lied” and “never had respect for the main organisation, the national director, the manager, media or fans who made her the winner”.
Ms Noe was notified this week that she would have to give up her title and the crown, Mr Kim said. She was also given a plane ticket back to Rangoon, but never turned up, with reports claiming she got on an earlier flight.
However, Mr Kim said she had absconded with the bejewelled Swarovski tiara – valued at between £60,000 and £120,000.
He added: “Everyone knows she is no longer the queen, but she thinks as long as she keeps this crown she’s the winner. She’s not.”
Hla Nu Tun, who acted as Ms Noe’s unofficial manager, said the beauty queen and the organisers had disagreed over who should oversee her career. Ms Noe’s mother wanted control, but so did the organisers, she said.
Burma, which only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule and self-imposed isolation, started sending contestants to international beauty contests again in 2012.
When Ms Noe was crowned, it was seen as a new beginning for the country’s young, talented beauties.