July 22, 2019
Latest News

Myanmar model gets medical license revoked for 'sexy' social media posts

By Mratt Kyaw Thu.

Yangon, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- A young doctor in Myanmar wanted to chase her dream of becoming a model, but her medical license has been revoked because of her "sexy" images on social media, sparking controversy in the conservative Buddhist-majority country.

The 29-year-old physician, Nang Mwe San, told EFE during an interview at the home she shares with her parents in Yangon – the country's biggest city – that she would fight to get her license back.

"I'm really sad and upset about the decision because I still want to practice medicine in the future," she said. "I worked very hard and spent a lot of my time to earn this degree."

After completing her studies, Nang Mwe San practiced her profession for four years. Two years ago, however, she decided to launch a career as a model and began to pose for fashion magazines, appear in television ads and post pictures on Facebook and Instagram that were deemed too provocative by the more puritanical elements of Burmese society.

The young doctor explained her biggest influence was American socialite and reality television star Kimberly Kardashian West, who, she said inspired her to feel confident about herself.

"Kim Kardashian is my idol," she said. "I don't like the other members of the Kardashian family, I only admire Kim because she's the first initiator."

Nang Mwe San said she wanted to be "the first medical doctor who is also a sexy model."

This combination did not sit well with Myanmar's Medical Council, which sent her a letter on June 3 notifying her that her license was being revoked as her photographs and videos "contravened Burmese tradition."

The council had previously warned her in January that she was not allowed to pursue both activities – practicing medicine and being a model – at the same time.

Nang Mwe San posted the council's letter on her Facebook page – which boasts over half a million followers – and nearly 6,000 users commented on the issue, with some showing support for the doctor-model and others defending the institution's decision to bar her from practicing medicine.

"The Hippocratic Oath does not mention how to dress or that you're not allowed to wear a bikini," she said in her interview with EFE. "The council's decision doesn't really recognize me as a model and artist; they even said my behavior was problematic."

Thinzar Shunlei Yi, a well-known Burmese television host and activist, told EFE that Nang Mwe San's case highlighted some of the contradictions ingrained in Myanmar's patriarchal society.

"She is challenging all of Burmese society by doing two different things: being a doctor and a sexy model," she said. "This has created a space for all of us to debate about how to build a progressive society in a democratic culture."

Myanmar began its transition to democracy eight years ago following almost five decades of military dictatorship during which the Southeast Asian nation remained closed off to the rest of the world and citizens had very limited access to information from the outside.

In this new transition phase, the use of mobile phones and the spread of internet connectivity – until then a privilege enjoyed by the very few elite – has seen dizzying growth. There are now almost 20 million Facebook users in a country of 53 million inhabitants, something that has brought about huge social transformation for a people who had been almost completely isolated for half a century.

"Burmese society remains uninformed about the basic principles and practices of democracy and human rights," Thinzar Shunlei Yi said. "It simply sees them as imported values from Western countries."

The activist said she believed the Medical Council would not have made the same decision if a male doctor had pursued a modeling career, though she acknowledged that this would have been an unlikely occurrence.

"There's no market for sexy male models," she said, adding that "women are used as sexual products."

Nang Mwe San herself has experienced the objectification of her body under the male gaze and has suffered online harassment from men who only see her in a sexual light.

"Once a model becomes famous on social media, she starts to receive sexual offers from rich sponsors who want her to become their mistress," she said. "I've experienced these types of offers but have refused all of them. My family isn't poor and I don't want to be tied to someone I don't like."

"If you only look at the surface, I may seem like a lustful girl, but I'm not like that in reality," she added. "I'm a simple girl."


News history

By María Rodríguez

Tame elephants mediate between humans, wild elephants in Indonesia's Aceh

By Ricardo Perez-Solero,

Buddhist novices perform rituals in mass ordination ceremony

Thai and foreign Buddhist devotees took part in several rituals Saturday as part of a mass ordination ceremony at Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple on the...

Princess Mako honors memory of Japanese who died in Bolivia

Okinawa I, Bolivia, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- Princess Mako of Japan honored this Friday the memory of her migrant compatriots who died in Bolivia at a monument in...

Indonesia to close Komodo Island to protect indigenous dragons

Jakarta, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- Komodo Island, a popular tourist destination and home to the world’s largest lizards, will close in 2020 in a bid to protect its...

First library seeks to bring change to Pakistani gun-making town

By Jaime Leon

Indonesian Hindus flock to Mt. Bromo volcano for soul-cleansing

Tenggerese Hindus gathered on top of Mount Bromo, an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia, for a purification ritual.

KLM diktat to cover up while breastfeeding in flights causes global outrage

The Hague, Netherlands, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Dutch airline KLM is facing a storm of criticism for asking mothers to cover up while breastfeeding their babies...

Recruiting armies of bugs to chomp back Florida's invasive plants

By Ana Mengotti

DR Congo vaccinates Goma to curb Ebola expansion

Kinshasa, July 17 (efe-epa).- The Democratic Republic of Congo is planning to vaccinate about 100 people in the northeastern city of Goma who had contact...

US judge denies bail to church leader accused of child rape, pornography

Los Angeles, USA, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- The leader of the so-called "Luz del Mundo" ("Light of the World") church will remain imprisoned in a United States...

Dried-up Aculeo Lagoon shows the woes of climate change in Chile

By Alberto Peña

By Nerea González

Trump doubles down on tweets against Democratic congresswomen

By Lucia Leal.

Residents of historic Panama neighborhood fight gentrification

By Maria M.Mur.

National health alert in Philippines after over 450 dengue deaths

Manila, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Philippines on Monday declared a national alert due to a dengue outbreak, with over 106,630 cases recorded in the first half of...

San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico's Pompeii buried by Paricutin volcano

By Manuel Soberanes Cobo

The Japanese island in the heart of South America

By Gina Baldivieso

More and more reports of sexual abuse against minors in Panama

By Ana de Leon

Protesters in US urge end to migrant detention centers

By Laura Barros

US lawmakers spotlight conditions for migrant kids detained on the border

Washington, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- With fear of the guards, feeling ill, with little sleep and no soap in sight, so the hours go by for thousands of children...

Japanese government apologizes for discriminating against lepers for decades

Tokyo, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- The prime minister of Japan on Friday apologized to leprosy patients and their families who suffered discrimination and isolation...

Trump gives up on adding citizenship question to 2020 Census

Washington, Jul 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday abandoned his bid to have a question about citizenship added to the 2020 US Census,...

Pelosi says Trump is terrorizing immigrants with threat of raids

Washington, Jul 11 (efe-epa).- The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said Thursday that President Donald Trump's threats to round-up...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.