Posted 04 December 2013 - 12:52 AM
In response to Yohan's and Wayland's misconceptions of Megan Young, I met her a couple of times a few years ago. We have common friends. We've probably spent three and a half or four hours conversing in total. She had some fame by then, and I knew who she was, but I didn't let her know that I knew when we were first introduced.
She is not from a wealthy family at all. I know she makes more from her acting and modeling than what her mother has at her disposal (mostly from her dad's support). Still, that is not all that much and it is not steady. Before the pageant, it is more accurate to say she was struggling than to say she was pampered.
Her break into show business was because of her looks, not her family connections. If you've seen her dance or act or heard her try to sing, you know it is not for her talent. The Philippines has a tendency to make pretty mestizas celebrities. From then on, her manager took care of her job assignments. I had heard Annabelle Rama was her manager, which would explain her pageant success if true.
In person, Megan is very sweet and genuine. She likes expensive chocolates, I noticed. The only thing fake about her is her smile, the one you see is a facade, her real smile is different. Even with minimal makeup, she is quite stunning.
She is an American citizen and has a US passport. I don't know if she is dual citizen, since it never came up, or what she had to do to qualify for the pageant since that was recent. Her dad was a US naval officer and her mom was a secretary at the base where his office was. He was transferred to DC, where they kids were born. The parents divorced and the mom took the kids back to the Phils. She told me of her life in Virginia, but there is not much to it since she was still a kid.
As far as "she doesn't even look Filipina", she looks exactly like a Filipina who is a mestiza, not one who is a morena. (there are also chinitas, negritas, etc). Her way of thinking is more Filipino-like than American-like. I noticed that after talking with her for about 10 minutes, she started losing her Filipino accent and started sounding like an American. She flipped back by her second sentence to another Filipino. I know people in the US who do the same thing between southern and midwestern accents.
Whether one thinks pageants are worthwhile or silly, I can tell you that the criticisms and put downs against Megan Young, not specifically in this forum, are unfounded. Get past her entourage, and she is one of the nicest people you would ever meet. And my, she is pretty.
As far as "those Muslim extremists cannot understand, that this is NOT their business", true. The extremists are a small, but vocal minority. I see two drivers for this mentality.
One is fanatical Islam, where they truly believe that an Islamic state is the only moral and right form of government, and that requires compliance with their absolutist views. They believe it is their business. This is very similar to Europe's Dark Ages, where anyone who disagreed with the Church was at risk of being burned by the inquisitors, or if they were notable, imprisoned for life (Galileo). People forget that the Pilgrims in Massachusetts went there to establish a strict religious life that would play out in force against individuals who strayed from the accepted view, where religious tolerance and heresy were not permitted. We still have vestiges of Christian fanaticism in the form of laws restricting gambling, alcohol, prostitution, and store hours in some places, and it is relatively recently that the laws against homosexuality were lifted. Islam is about 650 years behind Christianity in becoming enlightened.
The second driver was illustrated in a picture on the front page of the Jakarta Post one day. It showed women in Sulawesi protesting some kind of young women's event. All the protesting women were dressed in traditional clothing, they were all older, and appeared uneducated and certainly did not have any claims in the looks department. They were using Islamic traditions as their cause, but in reality, it was more personal than that. They were expressing fear of being left behind. These women were married off at 14 or 15 years old. Many can barely read. They have no skills. Their only value to society is as a wife and mother, which was once a highly regarded position. Along come modern women who are not bound by those restraints and who go so much farther. These women do not have the ability to even begin to comprehend the modern world, let alone participate. They will be at the very bottom of the social scale, with no chance to climb. If their numbers grow, they are fine, because they can say they are better off than the younger ones. If no one else joins them, then they are abandoned. They are dropping on the scale and they don't like it. Their idea of a just society is one that does not allow women any more choices than what they had and they will fight for it. I don't think anything could be done until they die off. Not all are like that. I have meet one of these left behind women with a different view, she was unskilled, barely literate, married at 14, also an excellent cook. This woman accepted her position in life, and was grateful that her daughters were not destined for the same fate.
On the other hand, Jakarta itself is one of the wildest, unrestrained cities in the world. A bit hidden to the casual observer, but I think in many ways wilder than Bangkok. I don't know anywhere else where one can find a bargirl who refuses to drink alcohol on religious grounds, but is up for hire and will bring along a friend at no extra charge.