An event of beauty and class is bringing together 32 contestants from around the world. The final round of the NTD Global Chinese Beauty Pageant kicks off Saturday.
The competition has a special mission: to revive the aesthetic values found in traditional culture. One of the finalists says the contest changed her misconceptions about women. We hear her story.
Miss NTD candidate Yuqing (Elisabeth) Yang:
My name is Yuqing Yang. I am 21 years old, born and raised in Jiangsu Province of China, and I came to France in 2022 to continue my third year college study of business administration studies.
I think what makes the NTD’s Beauty Pageant stand out is its emphasis on a beauty that emanates from within, and that genuine beauty is rooted in goodness and traditional values.
Interestingly, the Chinese characters for “beauty” and “goodness” share a striking resemblance in their form. Hence, I aim to demonstrate to people that beauty and goodness are inseparable. I strongly believe that a person’s benevolence and empathy towards others constitute true beauty.
As an individual who was born and raised in China, I find this competition has altered my misconceptions about women. There is a lack of belief in China. The traditional culture has been ruined. The feminine side of women, gentleness and consideration, has been intentionally suppressed.
Participating in this beauty pageant has afforded me the chance to reconnect with tradition, learn about and embrace the demeanor of Chinese women, and incorporate gentleness in my speech as well as dignity in my posture. This is something I have long sought after since my childhood.
I have always had a deep admiration for both Chinese and Western classical art. Visiting the Louvre to see the Renaissance masterpieces is something I particularly enjoy. To me, the angels and figures depicted in these paintings encapsulate a celestial elegance. Similarly, Miss NTD promotes the idea that beauty originates from heaven. I genuinely believe that beauty has a divine essence and is derived from a higher realm. As ordinary individuals, we can embody this beauty by embracing traditional values and moral principles. Through the practice of these ideals, we can uncover the truly beautiful aspects within our cultural heritage.
Through this competition and exploring traditional culture and etiquette, I have come to realize that we should do things with a peaceful mind. The ancient Chinese philosophy positions humanity as the intermediary between heaven and earth, thereby forming the “three domains.” We should not engage in relentless pursuit or competition. Instead, we should be grateful for the blessings bestowed by heaven and earth, and understand heaven’s requirement for us. That is to be a good person and do good deeds. Any of our undertakings are to provide service to society. It shouldn’t be deemed as personal achievement.
This beauty pageant is like the selection of government officials in ancient times. It was based on virtues and integrity, promoting righteous values. It helps us see the beauty and richness of our tradition, hence changing our impetuous mentality to reacquire the value of goodness.