Miss Universe Japan criticized for being bi-racial, not looking Japanese enough

Miss Universe Japan, Ariana Miyamoto, is being criticized for her darker skin. She’s been accused of being a misrepresentation of the country.

Miyamoto is half African American and half Japanese, so she doesn’t have the white skin that has become a symbol of beauty in Japan.

Many have taken to social media to criticize her, calling her a “hafu,” which is the name for someone who’s of mixed race. She is also getting some support, however, for challenging the stereotypes of Japanese culture.

Huffington Post reports Miyamoto, 20, was born and raised in Japan.

One person took to social media to ask, “Is it okay to select a hafu to represent Japan?” while someone else told CNN, “Half is not 100% Japanese. If someone is chosen as Miss Japan, both her parents should be Japanese.”

She’s isn’t letting the criticism hold her back, saying, “I want to tell the world, even a half-Japanese can represent Japan.”