The "Olympics of Beauty," otherwise known as the Miss International Beauty Pageant (国际小姐世界大会) will be held in Chengdu next Saturday.
The 66 contestants, each representing a different country, arrived yesterday afternoon, some with bare legs and others in skimpy dresses and sandals. Given that the temperature dropped to the lowest it's been in a decade for this time of year recently, we can't believe our eyes. Apparently neither could spectators who gathered around to watch the arrivals.
The women were paraded to the hotel, where they were all presented with—what else?—stuffed panda toys and will reportedly stay for the next 10 days, touring the city, visiting the pandas, and trying hot pot.
Representing China is Chengdunese Wang Qian (王芊), who was crowned the 49th Miss International - China last Wednesday. Wang, 19, currently studies foreign languages at the Southwest Jiaotong University.
The pageant originated in Long Beach, California, in the 1960s but has been held in Japan since 1968. From the pageant's official website
Under the slogans of "achieving world peace through mutual understanding" and "proper understanding of Japan in a globalized society," the Miss International Beauty Pageant has grown into a quasi-national event, so that it is now known as the "Olympics of Beauty."
This year marks the 49th event for the pageant.
The final round will be held November 28 at the Sichuan International Tennis Center (四川国际网球中心). Sichuan News has a comprehensive schedule of the week of events (Chinese only) as well as an absurdly detailed report on the contestants' arrival (apparently Miss Canada was ecstatic about her panda toy).
For a complete list of contestant names, go here, but if you want to see their photos, you'll have to go here. And if you happen to be that interested and/or like to see Chinese portraits from the late '80s and early '90s, you can see photos of the Chinese runner-ups in their youth here (scroll to the bottom).
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