Ariana Miyamoto was overjoyed when she took home the Miss Universe Japan crown. But instead of celebrating, she's been forced to defend herself against haters who've criticized her appearance.
Born to a Japanese mom and an African-American dad, some have questioned whether the stunning 20-year-old is "Japanese enough" to represent the country in the Miss Universe competition next January.
Although Miyamoto admits she doesn't "look Japanese," she was born and raised in Nagasaki, is a Japanese citizen and speaks the language fluently.
Miyamoto during the swimsuit portion of the competition. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
While there are those who've spoken out against her, many residents also stand behind the judges' decision.
On popular site GirlsChannel, a lot of posts suggested that citizens don't see any issue with her win. "Even if you are hāfu (half-Japanese), if you have Japanese citizenship, then you're Japanese," one commenter wrote.
Miyamoto being congratulated by fellow competitors. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Despite the backlash, Miyamoto is keeping her eye on the prize. "The world competition is going to be tough," she said of the Miss Universe pageant. "But I'll believe in myself and continue doing my best."
In a statement to E!, the Miss Universe Organization added, "We congratulate her on her win and we look forward to having her be a part of the next Miss Universe Pageant!"
Way to challenge beauty norms, Ariana!
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