A Chinese woman who claimed she was a beauty queen and had been crowned Miss Universe 2018 is facing a backlash from critics after she posted an Instagram photo of her dentures. Maureen Zhang, 59, who also goes by the name Maureen Xu, was featured in an
in China’s leading online newspaper, the People’s Daily, on Tuesday, calling for the Chinese government to stop awarding her the title.
“I am a beauty contestant and a beauty icon,” she captioned a photo of herself on her Instagram account, which has more than 6 million followers.
“I was crowned Miss USA 2018 and I won the beauty pageant in 2018.
But since then I have been criticized on social media for my appearance.
I feel ashamed, I have a lot of pain in my heart.
My mouth is swollen from the dentures and I suffer from an anxiety disorder.
I don’t want to lose my beauty, my life.”
Zhang is facing the possibility of being fined by the Chinese health ministry for violating the country’s cosmetics rules, according to the Daily.
A Facebook page for Maureen Zhang posted the photo, which showed the woman wearing a green silk robe with a pink bow, in front of a white house in central China’s capital.
The post was deleted shortly after it was published, and a second version appeared Wednesday morning.
On her Instagram page, Zhang said she had been told she should wear the robe “to protect the public and people’s trust in the system.”
“I was really afraid of going to jail, so I thought about how to make my beauty appearance so as to protect the beauty industry from people’s concerns and suspicions,” Zhang told the news website China Daily.
“If the Chinese people are not able to trust beauty companies, then we can’t rely on them.
I hope that I can still be considered a beauty and help other people.”
Zhang, who has been living in the U.S. for the past three years, said she did not seek to gain the title by being an amateur beauty contestant.
Instead, she said she was seeking the title because she believed it was her duty to help other Chinese beauty contestants who had struggled in the industry.
“My beauty is not something to be admired,” she said.
“It is my duty to serve people and help people.
I was born beautiful and I am proud of that.”
A spokesperson for the U,S.
Embassy in Beijing told The Hill that it had no comment on Zhang’s situation.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health and Family Planning said the ministry was aware of Zhang’s concerns, but was not commenting further.
The article did not name Zhang, but it said she is an official with the Chinese beauty contest agency Shanghai Media Group.
“The Chinese government’s strict cosmetics regulations prohibit individuals from using cosmetics products for cosmetic purposes,” the Daily wrote.
“Although cosmetics companies are required to disclose ingredients on their products, many companies fail to do so.
It is up to the beauty contest organizers to verify the ingredients on the products before awarding the beauty crown.”