In 2011, Miss Universe China Zilin Luo was told by her trainers to look less Chinese. Perhaps no one knows what really that means but it could mean a lot if China is to shine at the international pageants. At Miss World, China has no problems. Chinese beauty at Miss World shines and it does not have to transform into something else.
However at Miss Universe, everyone wants to look like an Latin American beauty. Why? Because most of the time Latin Americans win the Miss Universe crown. Just like this year where Venezuela is the winner. What does this mean to China? From this fact, it is clear what it meant to have our beauties look less Chinese. The traditional standard of beauty in China should not be used in styling our contestant at Miss Universe. We can call this phenomenon as the internationalization of the Chinese looks.
Miss Universe China is very aware of this trend. Zilin Luo’s hair was curled to make her look more of a Latina. This year, Jin Ye was chosen because she taller than the average Chinese and her looks do not conform with the standard Chinese beauty. Well in fact she is called as the Angelina Jolie of China because of her facial features.
There was a time when Miss Universe did favor Chinese beauty. Representing Hong Kong, Judy Dan in 1952 was 3rd runner-up, Virginia Lee Wai-Chun became the second runner-up in 1954 and Pauline Yeung Bo-Ling was 4th runner-up in 1988. Taiwan did well too with Helen Liu Shiu-Man of Taiwan became 3rd runner-up in 1962. Even a standard Chinese beauty like Ling Zhou could shine. She landed as second runner-up in 2002.
The trends are showing that Latina beauty is the big hit and China must try to get with the trend. But the question is should the Chinese beauty really conform to the trends for the sole purpose of winning? Or should maybe we should just be proud of the real and standard Chinese beauty showcasing it to the whole world? Is the “internationalization” of Chinese beauty a good thing or not?