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Beauty in the eye of the beholder?

By Liao Danlin (Global Times)

07:57, July 17, 2012

Chongqing pageant winner:Yan Meng

Criticism over the three winners of Miss International Beauty Pageant Chongqing has continued, since the results were posted on Sina Weibo last Tuesday. Many netizens said the winners were far below standards of beauty and accused the contest of being rigged.

An audience member surnamed Chen told the Chongqing Morning Post that the judges could be seen passing notes during the competition, and the host announced the winners without even taking a poll from the judges.

Chongqing Economic Times also reported that two of the judges in the pageant lacked any experience in the industry and were employees at the sponsoring companies.

Last weekend, Miss Bikini Universe Shandong angered more netizens, resulting in many netizens posting on Sina Weibo during the weekend. Netizens commented that the winners of the Shandong contest were far below their expectations, even compared to the three disputed Chongqing beauty pageant winners.

Discussions on Sina Weibo and other social networking sites question why beauty pageants keep selecting women who are considered "ugly" in China.

With continuous information released by media outlets revealing hidden "rules" and suspected foul play in beauty pageants, the public is beginning to doubt the fairness and professionalism in such competitions.

Crowning criteria

A man surnamed Tong, an employee at China Times Media, (organizer of 2012 Miss International Beauty Pageant China), told the Global Times that the three pageant winners from Chongqing are currently facing intense pressure from the media and are unavailable for interviews.

But Tong emphasized that the three winners were selected by the judges based on the rules and grading criteria of the pageant.

The winner of the 2010 Miss International China, Yuan Siyi, 21, told Global Times that she feels sorry for the three winners, as they are judged by netizens based on a picture.

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