Last Saturday, Jean-Sun Hannah Ahn was crowned Miss Seattle. Ahn was born and raised in Seattle, but went to college in Arizona. There, she was crowned Miss Phoenix. Since graduating, she has moved back to her hometown.
We are pretty pleased that she was crowned Miss Seattle. After all, having an Asian American represent our multicultural city should be a joyous moment — and it is — but it’s tinged with a little bit of controversy.
The offense Ahn committed is, admittedly, really minor. Three months ago in December, Ahn tweeted a few negative comments about Seattle on her personal Twitter account. She wrote, “Ugh, can’t stand cold rainy Seattle and the annoying people,” and she also wrote that she was “hating Seattle right now.”
How many of us have complained about the dreary weather or annoying people? Probably all of us. Many of us have probably posted the same exact comments on our own Facebooks or Twitters.
Since everyone is doing it, does it mean that Ahn is not deserving of the criticism she is getting? Does it mean that people are being too hard on her?
We think not.
Not many of us have the unique task of being a face for the City of Seattle.
Ahn does. We don’t expect everyone to bite their tongue all the time, but we do hold certain people to a higher standard — people who have public personas, figureheads, should be more vigilant about how they appear to the public.
Ahn now represents our great city. What does it convey to the rest of the country when Miss Seattle is found saying that she thinks Seattle is gross?
Currently, Ahn is learning many valuable lessons about her mistake, a lesson that many young people should also internalize.
What you say in a public forum is always on the record. It can be found by potential employers, news reporters, and yes, even your mom. Depending on where you want to go in your life and career, it’s important to always be mindful of your online persona.
Since her unfortunate tweets were unearthed, Ahn has publicly apologized.
In an interview with KIRO-FM, she said, “I apologize for the negative connotations towards the city of Seattle and its people or any other postings when I wasn’t in a positive place. Those tweets by no means reflect my actual opinions or views, I was simply having ‘one of those days’ and sincerely apologize to anyone who took those statements offensively.”
Here’s hoping Ahn doesn’t have another ‘one of those days.’ (end)