8 Facts About the Miss Universe S’pore 2018 Costume That Has Everyone Talking

Image: Alphonsus Chern Facebook

A wise old man once said: “It’s hard to please everyone.”

And he’s right. No matter what you do, it’s near impossible to please each and every individual on this planet. To exemplify, just look at Barack Obama. He’s personable, family-oriented and made consistent efforts to improve the states. Yet, even so, he faced constant chastising during his period of Presidency; and is still being undermined up till today.

Image: Giphy

But then again, it applies for the opposite end of the spectrum too:

“It’s hard to make everyone dislike it.” 

For try as you might, there will always be someone who appreciates you for who you are. Why else would the phrase “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” exist?

Image: Alloy

But sometimes, once in a blue moon, a prime example emerges and challenges the concept you’ve stoically believed in for eternity. And guess what?

It damn near made everyone dislike it.

Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause as I present to you guys the Miss Universe Singapore costume…

A piece of apparel so baddy that I have to write 8 facts about it.

Image: Giphy

1. What is it?

The Miss Universe Singapore costume, like its name suggests, is a piece of clothing that’s donned by the winner of the year’s pageant. And in case you’re wondering, this year’s edition looks like…

Image: The Online Citizen

Pretty gorgeous huh?

It’s just too bad that the real thing is like:

Do you know that if you nod when you suggest something, the listener would tend to agree? Here’s a video on the ten ways to control others with psychological hacks:

Image: Vox

Yeah, you’re not seeing it wrong. With a design that focusses on a flowy electric blue skirt that fans out with a digital print of the Trump-Kim handshake over a Singapore skyline, the designer has also incorporated a peace symbol into the bodice, and 3m-long white dove wings at the back.

Moving on.

2. Who’s the unlucky lucky girl?

As mentioned in the first point, the Miss Universe Singapore costume is supposed to be donned by the winner of the year’s pageant.

And this year, Zhara Khanum, 24, will be taking on the feathers… helm of the dress…

Miss Universe Singapore's national costume revealed

Would you say yes to the dress? The Miss Universe Singapore national costume has been revealed. Get more at https://bit.ly/2AvNAbC

Posted by The New Paper on Thursday, 29 November 2018

Where she will be our nation’s representative at the Miss Universe competition in Bangkok next month, for the national costume segment.


When a movie proves successful, critics look for the people responsible for it: director, lead actors, music composer, so on and so forth.

And when a dress is produced for an event as glamorous as the Miss Universe competition, people would want to know the designer in charge too (though whether it’s for accolades I have no idea).

As it is, the designer behind this year’s costume is none other than 48-year-old Moe Kazim.

The owner of a costume designer company, he was previously co-nominated for a Golden Horse award in 2007 for local film 881.

But as it is…

I doubt he’s getting another award anytime soon.

4. Reception

On 29 Nov, The New Paper released an unveiling video of the costume on its Facebook page.

And within 22 hours, the video has collected a respectable 19K views

As well as some pretty negatory comments.

Image: The New Paper Facebook Page
Image: The New Paper Facebook Page

One was so tilted he even started a whole campaign movement.

Image: The New Paper Facebook Page

Now that’s dedication right there.

5. Reception Part II

If you thought that’s the end, you’re wrong.

Over on The Straits Times’ side, the comments were no less relentless.

Image: The Straits Times Facebook Page

Indeed, you can’t help but wonder how high Singapore would rank if there was such a thing as the World Roasting Olympics, considering the wit and sharpness of our friendly local Netizens.

Image: The Straits Times Facebook Page
Image: Giphy

6. Meme-fied

Honestly, when dislike reaches such a towering level, you kind of expect the Netizens to come up with some memes for the occasion.

And suffice it to say that I’m not disappointed.

Image: Alphonsus Chern Facebook

With Netizens’ savagery going through the roof, one wonders what Mr Kazim must be thinking right now.


But it goes to show just how much Netizens dislike the dress, considering how reactions seem to be even more prominent than the previously erratic Crispy Rendang chicken episode.

7. It’s hard to make everyone dislike it

As I mentioned in the introduction, Mr Kazim did a really great job at challenging the notion:

It’s impossible to make everyone dislike it.

And while Mr Kazim did an admittedly better-than-expected job at that, it seems that his efforts were in vain, for Ms Zahra isn’t just willing to don the dress.

She’s practically thrilled.

In an interview with The New Paper, the pageant winner expressed how the costume “looked absolutely angelic”, and embodied world peace.

“It has a very serene and calming effect,” she said.

8. This isn’t the first time

But perhaps it’s not so much of the designer’s fault, as it is of history. According to the Straits Times, the Miss Universe Singapore national costume has been panned by critics for a pretty long period of time.

For five years, to be exact.

From the Merlion to the orchid Vanda Miss Joaquim, previous costumes have been panned for their over-the-top designs.

Image: VoyForums

Though it’s sad to see that maybe, just maybe…

Singapore hasn’t learnt its lesson.

For like 5 times in a row.

And with that said, I’m sure I speak for everyone else here when I say…

Maybe you guys should tone down the design a bit next time.

Image: Gfycat

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