Hawaii's 2014 Narcissus Queen: Brittany Wi Lin Lee

Brittany Wi Lin Lee, 24, was crowned Narcissus Queen at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce’s 65th annual Narcissus Festival earlier this year.


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Photo: Adam Jung

MY ROLE as queen is to promote the Chinese culture by making public appearances and participating in different community events. My first, second, third and fourth princesses accompany me most of the time. But sometimes just the queen gets invited to stuff. I guess they don’t always need the whole royal court.

IF YOU want to walk like a beauty queen, you have to stand tall, chin up parallel to the floor, shoulders back, and make sure you look at each person. You have to pretend there’s an eye on your chin. That way you know you’re looking right at them, with your head up.

THE DRESS I wear is called a cheong sam. It’s really tight, very fitted and it’s long. It’s like you’re in Saran Wrap.

YOU HAVE to have a technique to get into cars when you’re wearing the cheong sam. You have to go butt first, then crouch so your crown doesn’t hit the roof, then duck under the roof and pull your legs in. It’s a really tight dress.

FOR THE talent part of the pageant, I did a modern dance with a Chinese lion. I have a gymnastics background, so I did two round-off back handsprings, a back walkover and a cartwheel. On the first flip, you could hear the crowd go, “Oooooo!”

AS PART of the Narcissus program, we took classes that gave us a history of how the Chinese came to Hawaii and taught us different cultural things, like how to eat a whole fish. You eat one side of the fish first, and then you take the bone off and continue eating. You don’t flip it over. Flipping the fish is like flipping over the fishermen’s boat and losing their fish and their wealth. Everything has meaning.

I WORK as a sonographer at Pali Momi Medical Center. I do ultrasounds. Most people think of that as the baby scanner with the jelly, but we do a lot of fatty liver, a lot of gallstones. We look for kidney stones. We do thyroids, looking for nodules. We do any soft tissue, really. I’ve actually helped detect a lot of breast cancers in the early stages. I haven’t done a lot of babies.

YOU CAN'T really clean the cheong sam, especially mine because I have rhinestones glued all over it. What I’ve been told is to just wipe it down after I’m done using it. When my year as queen is over, I’m going to hang it up for good.

Did you know? The Narcissus Queen Pageant, which dates to 1950, is billed as the oldest ethnic beauty pageant in the U.S.

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