The competition isn’t even over yet, but Miss Singapore International has already had to deal with unnecessary hate.
Over the past weekend, a Facebook video of Charlotte Chia went viral, garnering over 41,000 shares – and not in a good way.
The video, which was shared on Facebook by user Rommel Dave Mallari on November 1, showed Chia and Miss Philippines International, Bea Patricia Magtanong, performing a cleansing ritual at the Yutoku Jinja shrine in Japan.
In the video, Magtanong can be seen scooping water and pouring it onto one hand to wash it. Chia, who stood next to her, appeared to also scoop up water but rinsed her mouth with it instead.
Rommel Dave Mallari said in his post, which has since been removed: “Why are you drinking it, Miss Singapore International? You’ll be shocked because Miss Philippines is using it to wash her hands.”
But he wasn’t the only one who found Chia’s actions laughable.
Many of those who shared the video also mocked Chia for the way she conducted the ritual at the shrine in Saga’s Kashima city. Many netizens also mistakenly thought that Chia was drinking the water.
One user wrote that “it should be like that (referring to Patricia),” and that Miss Singapore should have listened to the instructions first.
Another exclaimed, “What are you doing! It’s a shrine!”, while another person bade farewell to the Singaporean contestant.
Most comments left on the post and as “shares” also mocked the Singaporean University of Sydney graduate.
Shutting down the haters
But it was 21 year-old Chia who got the last laugh.
According to Japan Guide, the shrine ritual does indeed require one to rinse one’s mouth.
Ryuuu TV, a popular vlogger who showcases Japanese culture on his YouTube channel, had also shown mouth rinsing as part of the full purification ritual in a video published in 2017.
On Monday evening, Chia finally addressed the naysayers on her own Instagram page.
In an Instagram Story, the beauty queen shared one of many rude comments directed at her. To a commenter who called her a clown, Chia said: “If you are referring to when I ‘drank’ the water, you are misinformed.”
“Maybe you didn’t see me spit it out because I covered my mouth,” she added, after explaining the ritual’s process.
Even Miss Philippines rallied to support Chia, posting her own explanation and also a screenshot of her rinsing her mouth.
This is not the first time that Miss Singapore International has gotten unwanted attention and nasty comments directed at her.
Earlier in October, The Straits Times (ST) reported that Malaysian netizens had left unkind comments saying that she was not as attractive as other contestants.
Taking it in stride, Chia wrote on Instagram: “I actually didn’t know they (the critics) existed until now, so truly: outta sight, outta mind.”