Beauty decked in other clothing
Updated: 2011-10-07 11:37
Now that the selection of pretty unmarried women has become the norm, other forms of beauty pageants have also emerged, some of which have been blessed by the public, while others have encountered varying degrees of disapproval similar to what regular pageants went through.
In 2010, Shanghai unveiled China's first pregnant women's beauty contest. Women with a growing tummy were traditionally not considered elegant and were often hidden from public view, but the new generation of expectant mothers are so proud of their anticipated status they often flaunt their expectant images online. These elicit waves of hoorays and more photos of proud pregnancies.
Fudan University professor Gu Xiaoming regards the acceptance of the pregnant body as an indication of progress and "awe for life itself".
A contest for senior citizens was started in 2004 by the China National Committee on Ageing in partnership with CCTV, the national television network. It drew 6,000 contestants from all walks of life, ranging in age from 55 to 91. They were tested on health knowledge and performance talent.
Children's contests are popular with many parents but reproached by most educators for the competitive atmosphere and tinges of commercialism.
Unlike adults' pageants, they almost always showcase talent in singing, dancing and speech, and imitating star singers and comedians gets the most applause.
Critics call it "the stifling of innocence", but phrases such as "You're eliminated" are banned to protect children.
A 12-year-old Uyghur boy named Alfa has won numerous titles at such events since 2003 and is now a frequent guest star on children's shows. He is known for his cute looks and multiple talents.
Xiao Dai is the first Mr Gay China. But he did not win the title, rather it was conferred on the 25-year-old Xinjiang man last year.
The contest, which was to be a small party with a dozen participants, was called off when an unexpected media blitz brought unwanted official attention. An HIV/AIDS prevention activist attributed this to a lack of consistency in government policy toward homosexuality.
Xiao Dai entered the Mr Gay World competition in Oslo, Norway, and finished fourth.