Pamela, Gina and Daisy enter the Miss Asia Star beauty pageant. Winning would mean their beauty would be legitimised, they would get thousands of followers and have the chance to become a superstar. Despite the competition organisers telling the media that the competition is about ‘confidence’, ‘inner beauty’, ‘authenticity’ and ‘personality’. All three women undergo major surgical enhancements before they enter the competition.
Still insecure after their procedures and questioning their own beauty, the women practice hard. They practice acting ‘confident’ for the stage, whilst putting on the appropriate beauty pageant ‘personality’ of a bubbly persona. The women memorise pre-prepared answers on ‘Inner beauty’ and ‘Authenticity’ for the Q & A round, whilst learning to smile for hours. Perfecting to dress and exhibit the one-dimensional set of femininity expected of them. A strictly adhered to visually stereotypic protocol, which remains unchanged since the inception of the competition, in the century’s misogynistic past.
Their efforts pay off and they are selected as finalists. 20 finalists are invited on behalf of the pageant committee to stay at the ThreeSeasons hotel, the major pageant sponsor. The women will be staying at the hotel for two weeks for media tours & rehersals with the pageant directors & sponsors. The big finale will be hosted at a local TV studio.
Over the course of the two weeks the finalists get acquainted with each other, the directors and the sponsors. Daisy works hard at her craft, she hopes that the pageant directors and sponsors will see her work ethic and give her the title by recognising her hard work at rehearsals. Daisy often sees Pamela flirtatiously holding eye contact with the pageant director for an uncomfortably long amount of time. Daisy is unaware, that Pamela has been making midnight trips to the director’s room under the belief that sleeping with him will turn the pageant in her favour.
Gina, remains uninterested in making friends, rolling her eyes at the other girls. Her icy stoic expression instantly animates to a warm friendliness as soon as the camera is around. It’s as though she has an on and off button triggered by the presence of a camera. She knows something that all the other contestants don’t.
The day before the grand finale is preliminary Bikini round. Pamela puts on her bikini and immediately looks for the director, but can’t find him nor any of the sponsors. 19 contestants parade in their bikinis for the camera, 1 contestant, Gina is missing and is therefore theoretically disqualified.
The day of the finale arrives. 20 women are whittled down to 5, Pamela, Daisy and Gina (despite technically being disqualified) make it to the final 5. The judges put their votes in, by points and performance Daisy comes out on top followed by Pamela in 2nd and then Gina in 5th place.
The director gathers the votes then goes on stage with an unopened envelope to announce the winners. He says the votes have been verified by a reputable accounting firm and he has no idea who the winner is. As the camera zooms in on him, he opens the envelope revealing Gina has won the title of Miss Asia Star, in 2nd place is Pamela and in 3rd is Daisy (despite scoring the highest points).
Unknown to the other contestants, Ginas absence from the Bikini round was because Gina had taken the director & the sponsors to an exclusive lunch at a high end restaurant. Using her wealth, she payed off the director & sponsors, sealing her win.
Fast forward 6 months:
Gina, (the one that paid off the director) is used to getting what she wants using money & power. She continues on a spoilt child capitalism spree, acquiring whatever & whomever she wants, with greased up palms wherever she goes, she wins the international title…
Pamela, (the one that slept with the director) ends up becoming a type of second woman (ernai) otherwise known as an escort/mistress, using her attractiveness to seduce wealthy men into gifting her money & expensive gifts. Until she gets murdered by a Chinese businessman for knowing too much.
Daisy, the most foolish of all, continues to believe the world is fair and that if she works hard it will be fair to her. Still believes that her work ethic and hard work will always shine through no matter what.