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The Business of Beauty
September 15, 2003: 32 Miss China contestants debut at the Yintai Hotel in Sanya, Hainan Island.
From 1951 to 2002 a total of 52 Miss World contests have been held in more than 20 countries, which has now developed into an influential fashion event across the world. This year, Miss World is coming to China's beautiful Sanya city on Hainan Island.


arrive in Sanya on December 6 this year," said Julia Morley, chairwoman of the Miss World Organization, on the eve of the 53rd Miss World Final.

"I hope people from around the world come to Sanya to enjoy one of the world's most successful galas," said Morley, who is still in charge of an organization her husband founded more than 50 years ago.

Contestants at a farm near the Yalong Bay Tourist and Holiday Resort in Hainan.

Mrs. Morley said her husband, Eric Morley, who has since passed away, had "foresight" when he founded the organization. In 1951, six years after the end of World War II, the Festival of Britain was about to be held on the south bank of the Thames River. An idea was born in Mr. Morley's mind. Why not encourage visitors of the huge event to patronize his ballroom by hosting a beauty contest there? And so the Miss World competition was born.

Contestants perform a bamboo pole dance, a typical art form in Hainan Province.

Mrs. Morley has never denied that she is, among other things, a smart businesswoman. With great confidence, she has mapped out one after another huge commercial plans, and then carried them out. She knows exactly the relationship between commercial benefits and her business. The "business of beauty" has interested her, she said, because money alone cannot bring the kind of joy that she gets from her work. She also hopes that the business she is engaged in will help many girls enjoy the fruits of their own labor.

In addition, she is passionate about charity events. She said she hoped the Miss World Organization would join with the China Charity Federation to help children in China's poverty-stricken areas.

The top three Miss China finalists step out on the evening of September 21, 2003. From left: Liu Lina (third place), Guan Qi (first place), and Song Bingjie (second place).

Mrs. Morley said that Chinese people were open-minded about the Miss World contest and showed the same attitude as those in other countries. Chinese girls began to appear in the Miss World pageant in recent years, she said.

In 2001, Li Bing entered as the representative of China in the 51st Miss World Final held in Sun City, South Africa. She was the first from China's mainland to appear in the pageant. Li won as fourth runner-up and was titled Asia's Queen of Beauty for her unique, oriental temperament. She was also the only one from Asia to place among the top 10 finishers.

One year later, Wu Yingna¡ªMiss China¡ªearned fifth place in the contest and won the title of Asia & Oceania's Queen of Beauty from the 52nd Miss World Final.

Wu Yingna, fifth-place winner of the 52nd Miss World Final, crowns No. 4 contestant, Guan Qi, from Jilin Province.   Contestants in traditional Chinese cheongsam (a close-fitting dress with a high neck and slit skirt worn by women of the Manchu nationality).

Mrs. Morley believes that the Miss World 2003 will be a victory for both Sanya and the competition itself, and many foreigners will get to know Sanya and thus travel to the city.

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