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Passing the Miss Korea torch studded tiara

2007 Miss Korea Lee Ji-sun crowns the new Miss Korea, Na Ri.

The 52nd Miss Korea Pageant took place on August 5 in Seoul, at which Na Ri was awarded the top prize. Additionally, the two Miss Korea sun (선) finalists were Choi Bo-in and Kim Min-jung. The four Miss Korea mi (미) finalists were Kim Hee-kyung, Lee Yoon-ah, Jang Yoon-hee, and Seo Seol-hee.

It’s been noted that the winner is not as pretty as some of the other finalists, but as we know, prettiest doesn’t always mean everything. I do think that she’s been unfortunately styled, however — the hair, the dress, the makeup all make her look like an ’80s pageant queen, and she looks at least a decade younger in her non-pageant photo. But it must really suck to have won the crown and then have the press comment with headlines like “An ordinary-looking Miss Korea?” Many expected Jang Yoon-hee or Kim Min-jung to win instead, no doubt by virtue of their lovely faces.

(Then again, some of the other “prettier” girls have remarkably plasticized, too-perfect looks. For instance, Jang Yoon-hee is being singled out as the prettiest face, and I do think she looks remarkably like Kim Hee-sun, and perhaps a couple other actresses — but in a sort of replicated, unnatural way.)

Na Ri is a 22-year-old third-year student at one of Korea’s top universities, Yonsei University, studying applied statistics. She entered the pageant as Miss Seoul sun.

Some former Miss Koreas include: Honey Lee (2007), Choi Yoon-jung (2003), Kim Sarang (2000). As for others, actress Go Hyun-jung was Miss Korea sun in 1989, and Kwon Sang-woo’s wife-to-be Son Tae-young was a 2000 Miss Korea mi. Yeom Jung-ah was a 1992 Miss Korea mi, as was Lee Seung-yeon. Other former pageant participants who are now acting include 2000’s Lee Bo-young and Park Shi-yeon.


TOP ROW: Miss Korea winner (진) and the two Miss Korea sun(s) (선): Na Ri, Na Ri out of pageant gear, Choi Bo-in, and Kim Min-jung.
BOTTOM ROW: The Miss Korea mi(s) (미): Jang Yoon-hee, Jang close-up, Kim Hee-kyung, Lee Yoon-ah, Seo Seol-hee

Via JK News

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urgh you're so right, her pageant gear ages her by almost 10 years! pity she won't be allowed to compete in normal clothes.. she looks so much better in them hehe. and while i think it's great that pageant organisers are starting to recognise that beauty isn't everything, it almost certainly also means that there's no way they're going to reach honey lee-esque highs in the miss universe pageant next year.

i'll just be blunt and state that being drop-dead gorgeous is a pre-requisite to getting placed within the top 10. hell, being gorgeous doesn't even guarantee you a spot. but once you're not, you're definitely out. so i can see why netizens/reporters would be up-in-arms about awarding the crown to someone perceived as an average beauty. national pride at stake!

it's so.. tricky. i'm pretty sure this is gonna fire up the debate on the legitimacy of plasticized beauties

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Jang Yoon hee actually looks more like Wang Bit na than kim hee sun. I find her much more attractive than the winner. None of these girls are as pretty as 2007's Miss Korean Honey Lee. Oh well, I don't really care for these pagents anyways.

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Just out of curiosity, what do you mean when you refer to Miss Korea sun and mi?

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i actually don't think the winner looks uglier or more average than the other contestants but for some reason she looks a little like last years winner Lee Ji-sun in the normal (2nd) picture. they all look plasticized to me though.

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I second JiHwan's appraisal... Wang Bit Na seems closer, either way, still v. strange for there to be a look-alike on stage.

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YEs, what's the difference between sun and mi

also i find her the be one of the prettiest...aside from jang yoon hee, shes the second prettiest
more of an innocent sweet face, less makeup shaped =T

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Maybe the reason Korea has not been very successful in producing world beauty queens is its standard of "beauty"? It's not a statement, but rather a question and not meant to insult or degrade. The reason I said that is because of this "must be pretty" requisite. Pretty may mean beautiful by Korean standard but not by Miss Universe'. Say for instance, I've read many times that if you're darker in Korea, you're not as popular as you would have if you are in the US where women intentionally get tanned to have the "beautiful" look (true or not???). This is not to say Korean women are not beautiful, no, no. In fact my brother thinks they're one of the most beautiful among Asians (except he said the color of the skin - he likes more brown or naturally brown skin). But maybe Korea's description of "beauty" is limited to "pretty" (i.e. must be cute,white skinned???) therefore when selecting and sending candidates for world beauty contest it limits itself to that type of "beauty". So when in competition with the more exotic, darker, natural-looking (?) contestants, it would be difficult for them to stand out, no?

My piece. Don't shoot me, please.

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Is it just me or they don't look that pretty?

Don't get me wrong, they are pretty but they just don't give me this "wow" kind of feeling that I would see in a pageant. Maybe it has to do somewhat with the way they are dressed. *shrug*

For some reason, though, I find their face structures a bit awkward. I think I still prefer the natural way even if the women aren't as pretty as when they are touched up.

Anyway I don't think the color of the skin, whether tan or white, is that much of a difference. The way people dress or how they put on make up might I say is indeed an influence of their own culture or country.

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The winner is much prettier with more natural make-up; I actually think she's prettier than Jang Yoon Hee because even if she is plastic, she looks less plastic =.= She has such a sweet face, and she has a "smart" aura.. She studies at Yonsei University after all!

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She gives off an ajumma vibe too me. Maybe that'll be interpreted as MILF? Seems old and not very fresh at all. But it could be her makeup etc. Something about her mouth area is very Western...she does look different from what is normally considered very pretty in Korea. Maybe that's what the judges were going for. It's amazing how her lips go from plushy in the pageant picture to two lines in the 'regular' picture. Wonders of makeup. And oh...some of the nose-jobs up there are SO BAD ...inc Na Ri's :(

Huh. I feel like Korea's up for another loss come 2009.

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I'm still lamenting over Honey Lee's defeat at the 2007 Miss Universe which she really deserved to win. It wasn't just because she's pretty but there's this aura about her that does not come very often.

With entrants like Miss Na Ri, Korea will never have as good a chance to win the crown as Honey Lee did.

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you can never predict the future.....

she MIGHT have a chance at winning
everybody is just mad cuz she doesn't look like the usual "beauty" queen
i thnk she has a shot , mabey top ten??

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I'm confused by the sun and mi too...

And hmmm, although they r all pretty, i think none of them is really outstanding. =X

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The girl on the bottom row (close up) is really pretty! I think she can be a celebrity if she can act or something...
I don't like the dress of the winner either... IT's so BLAH.. can't even describe it...

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I like her normal look best, and perhaps her intelligence is what impressed the judges the most. I'd rather have an unconventionally beautiful, intelligent woman representing my country than the ideal beauty who has little beyond beauty as attributes.

Jang Yoon-hee looks exactly like a Korean girl I know. Scary. But the girl I know is natural, so maybe that's why I thought Jang Yoon-hee looked the least plastic.

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A beauty pageant is a BEAUTY pageant! I mean, if you're gonna win a beauty pageant, ppl are going to expect you to be beautiful and if you're not, you gotta be prepared to take the heat. It's really quite surprising that she won.

Well, I guess she won't be making the top 25 for miss universe either because you really do need beauty to win THAT one!

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@xmerokox

This is supposed to be a beauty pageant after all, not some IQ test. Have a look at what popseoul have to say about her!

http://popseoul.com/2008/08/07/miss-korea-2008-needs-more-than-big-hair/

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I showed the pictures on Popseoul to my friends and we are still trying to understand how she won!

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I actually think Jang Yoon Hee looks more natural then the winner!

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Okay, so Miss Nari is not the conventional beauty queen. But, I think she looks fine. Personally, I think she has a delicate and sweet charm. She can still wow the judges and other contestants with her intelligence and friendliness.
Miss Nari, have a great time at the Miss Universe pageant!

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geez....no wonder your country has no Miss Universe yet!!! Your definition of a winner and beauty is compared to a Honey Lee?? It's the Ms. Universe contest people....your standards of beauty in korea...it's kinda creepy..besides..it takes more than looks and color. she has to have brains too...a great personality and by god, she must also be a woman of substance..

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People criticizing Korea's standard of beauty should know that each country has it's own perspective and stard of beauty just like culture and tradition. Maybe to Korea's perspective YOUR country's beauty standard might seem unfit as well. I personally think White skin is thousand times more beautiful than brown skin because of its look of clean, pure, innocent and it glows with black hair. White skin is as beautiful as snow, and dark, black skin........whatever. And i think Korea is the most gorgeous race in not just Asia but the whole world and that asians look hundred times better than Caucasians... I think the reason korean never win Miss Universe is not because they aren't as beautiful, but because Korea is not as famous, well-known, judges are streo-typed caucasians, and a fixed thought that East Asian has never won first place all along, and therefore shouldn't in the future. American beauties look too scary like a witch. Too tall nose, dark skin, too big breasts and they get old so quickly and gain all that wrinkles when theyre only in late 20s... just my opinion.

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