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2,138 views • October 1, 2023

‘Amazing Learning Opportunity’: Top Contestants, Judges React to First NTD Chinese Beauty Pageant

NTD News
NTD News
Thirty-two women won the hearts of audience members and judges at the first NTD Global Chinese Beauty Pageant—but only one was crowned Miss NTD. NTD spoke to the winner, the runners-up, and the judges. After a week of preliminary rounds and, for some, a lot of soul-searching, three women won the top honors. They all agree that it was a meaningful learning experience. Ms. Cynthia Sun from Houston, Texas, won the crown and the title of Miss NTD. Here are her thoughts on beauty. “For all of us, it was an amazing learning opportunity," Ms. Sun said. "Not just about broadcast, not just about what a beauty contestant is, but how traditional Chinese women can be and how those values can be embodied in us and how it shows through our actions toward each other, as well as … what message we send out to the world.” Ms. Sun said she joined the pageant because she was intrigued by its “mission to revive and rejoice in traditional values.” The pageant is unique because of its mission to show the beauty of women as it relates to the five virtues of traditional Chinese culture: morality, righteousness, propriety, benevolence, and faithfulness. The runners-up expressed their understanding of true beauty. “I think true beauty ... is a manifestation of human nature—like the very original human nature—it's very pure," first runner-up Vicky Zhao said. “That just really comes from inside and it just naturally spreads to the outside.” Second runner-up Belle Meng said: “My understanding, I think [of] inner beauty as divine. Like, inner beauty, like also [external] beauty is we [are] divine—from God.” Looking past the outer appearance and getting to that true inner beauty isn’t easy. But, this pageant helped the judges gain a deeper understanding. “I think what we’re trying to do here is find positive role models by bringing back traditional values, which has kind of been a foundation of a healthy society for like a millenia, for generations and generations," pageant judge Mark Luburic said. "So if we can get back to that, then I think there will be a shift in the way that society works which currently isn’t really working so well, in my opinion these days.” Judge Gabriel Georgiou said he appreciated the pageant’s focus on inner beauty. “I love the idea of this pageant being very different," Mr. Georgiou said. "Having the inner beauty as well as the outer beauty, especially the inner beauty component of traditional values, morality, and benevolence and all of these beautiful virtues.” The first-ever competition was only open to women of at least one-third Chinese descent. Judge Showyen Liu said this is what future contestants can look forward to: “Through this process, they can find themselves, and whether they win or not, it doesn't really matter," Ms. Liu said. "They have this beautiful experience and they build some great relationships and some professional presence on stage, so I think that's what you get out of it.” For ladies inspired to join the pageant next year, judge Alison Chen gives this advice: “We want to see how they weave these traditional values into their daily lives. Because it's not just about that one moment on stage when you're crowned the queen or when you are crowned Miss NTD, it's really about: can you translate these values into something that you can do in your daily life?” Ms. Chen said. “Because that's really the essence of what we're trying to do here.” Miss NTD was awarded the five-sapphire phoenix crown, a $10,000 cash prize, an 18 karat white gold set of matching Heavenly Phoenix necklace and earrings, and other gifts. She will also be granted the opportunity of a year of worldwide media coverage and promotion across social media platforms, and have the opportunity to host an NTD program, serve as master of ceremonies for NTD events, take part in global speech and travel opportunities, and attend as guest of honor at several events.
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