Miss World Canada 2015 Anastasia Lin may be known more for her advocacy on human rights but the former beauty queen is also known for her refusal to wear a swimsuit before the beauty pageant put a ban on bikinis.
Anastasia Lin who was born in China first entered the beauty pageant not just because of the glitz and glamour of the competition.
Her interest in competing in beauty pageants started when Miss World Canada 2003, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, told her that the beauty pageant is an ideal platform for her to speak about human rights issue that Lin wants the world to know about.
Lin moved to Canada with her mother at the age of 13 because her mother felt that the “western education” would be better for her than the education system in China.
China’s education system “might be a little too rigid for me,” Lin told Maclean’s.
Before she moved to Canada, Lin never knew what exactly happened in her home country until her mother told her about the violation of human rights happened in the country.
“I only knew what is being truly free after migrating to Canada,” she told The Epoch Times.
On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party persecuted nearly 100 million Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong is an ancient way of self-discipline through meditating. In May 1992, the practice enjoyed huge popularity after many claimed that it helped heal their illnesses and ailments.
However, after the Chinese Communist Party launched persecution on the practitioners, many of them were kidnapped and tortured in an attempt to force them to give up their faith.
“I thought, ‘The Chinese government can’t demonize and alienate them.’” Lin said to Maclean’s.
The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners was not the only human rights violation in the country. Lin also explained that the same ruling party was responsible for the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre where 10,000 protesters were killed by the Army, who were under orders from Jiang Zemin.
Meanwhile, some of the human rights violations like the maltreatment of Tibetans and the genocide of the Uygur population in northwest China’s Xinjiang region are still ongoing.
Lin who is also a Falun Gong practitioner later realized that competing in the beauty pageant would give her the voice to tell the truth about what is happening in China.
Shen then signed up to be Miss World Canada in 2013 and finished second runner-up which many people believed that it was because she refused to wear a swimsuit during the competition.
“The organization told me I can choose not to participate, but it will greatly hurt my chances to win the crown. I think it was the right decision,” she said.
“I work in a lot of TV and film projects that reveal human rights abuse and often I act in the role of a victim,” she explained.
“For my films, I have to interview a lot of people who have been sexually abused in labor camps or prison. I feel like if I expose myself in that light, for these people who look up to me as their support, this image would be counter-productive to the films.”
After the competition banned bikinis a year later in 2014, Lin knew that her fight has paid off. She later entered Miss World Canada 2015 and won the crown.
However, her being outspoken about the human rights abuse in China resulted in the country to refuse to approve her visa application to Sanya, Hainan Province, where the Miss World finals took place.
In spite of the hiccup, the organizers then gave her a second chance to compete in the finals held in Washington D.C. in 2016.
Lin is still active in advocating for human rights even when she and her family receive threats but she believes in justice. She is truly the epitome of beauty and brain!
Credit: The Epoch Times