HONG KONG • This is not a good time to be Miss Hong Kong.
It used to be that bagging the crown would automatically open many doors for the winner, with career options from acting and singing to advertising and marketing.
Indeed, Ms Carmaney Wong, 25, had mentioned her hopes of working with broadcaster TVB after the model won the beauty pageant on Sept 8.
But two months after her triumph, she is still not gainfully employed.
According to on.cc portal of the Hong Kong's Oriental Press Group, the current unrest in Hong Kong, which has sharply dented tourism and retail sales after violent protests frightened away visitors, has made businesses wary about spending money.
TVB has tapped Ms Wong for only some variety-show work so far, with the beauty queen revealing that it does not pay her a fixed salary.
She added that she had to use her savings from her previous work as a model to pay the bills.
This is the latest blow for Ms Wong.
In the run-up to the beauty pageant, she had to refute rumours that she had gone under the knife to sculpt a more voluptuous body.
After she won the contest, she had to deflect talk that she was the third party in a dentist's relationship with another woman two years ago.
Ms Wong is taking the current hiccup in her stride, content to sit out the lull with a simpler lifestyle.
She has also spent time doing charity work in her role as Miss Hong Kong.
Though she reportedly comes from a wealthy family, she has been spotted taking train rides and dining in affordable outlets with her Swiss boyfriend, who is a marketing executive in a digital company.
Ms Wong told media outlets previously that he relocated to Hong Kong to be closer to her and support her career.
He was apparently upset when she was hit with speculative talk about her love life and looks.
Now, the David Beckham lookalike has to back her up during this lean period as Ms Wong waits to kick-start her career.