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Miss China isn't just a pretty face, former beauty queen says

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2015-04-03 08:04

Miss China isn't just a pretty face, former beauty queen says

Xu Jidan represented China at the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas in 2012. She was awarded the prize for Best National Costume. Photo provided to China Daily

It's also a kind of soft power diplomacy, to present China's image on the international stage, Xu says. Foreigners are curious about China, and knowing about confident and independent young Chinese women could be part of understanding China.

Before she traveled to Las Vegas for the Miss Universe pageant, she learned how to wear makeup and match clothes and fashion accessories.

At the time, she could speak only a few English sentences and undertook a three-month English training program.

"The pageant has made me more outgoing. I used to be at a loss on how to make others understand me and communicate with them," she says.

For Xu, the crown is more than the symbol of a beauty queen. Only when she wore the crown did she understand her sense of mission and sense of honor of being a Chinese, she says.

During Miss Universe 2012, the organizers constantly referred to her and the other 88 candidates that year by the names of countries they represented. That felt special, she says.

"It was like being in the Olympic Games. If my performance was good, they would say Miss China is doing well," she explains.

"Sometimes the achievement is not the most important. You have to enjoy the process."


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