March 09, 2016 12:45
Miss Korea 1988 Kim Sung-ryung has been voted the most beautiful Miss Korea ever, followed by Kim Sa-rang, who won in 2000, and Ko Hyun-jung, a runner-up in 1989.
The Chosun Ilbo commissioned online bookstore Yes24 last month to conduct a survey about 60 years of the Miss Korea pageant. Of the 2,504 respondents, 1,442 were women.
Kim Sung-ryung won 24.8 percent of the vote, Kim Sa-rang 16.1 percent, and Ko 13.6 percent.
The pageant started in 1957.
It found that some 450 Miss Korea contestants are active in showbusiness, be it as actresses, models or TV presenters. Kim Sung-ryung is still a sought-after actress, as are Kim Sa-rang and Ko.
Kim Sung-ryung said, "I'm surprised and happy that I came top. I'm one of the oldest Miss Koreas who are still active in entertainment industry." She still uses the nickname Miss Korea 1988 on social networks and looks back on it fondly. "It made what I am now. I will continue to do my best to maintain beauty so as not to damage my title as a Miss Korea winner."
Yes24 also tried to find out something about the present-day image of an institution that looks increasingly out of kilter with the times.
Some 25.1 percent of respondents said they see no need for the pageant any more, and 16 percent who said the negative effect outweigh any positives.
Only 4.8 percent said there is a great need for the contest and 17 percent that the effect is overwhelmingly positive. Some criticized the pageant for objectifying women and setting a uniform standard of beauty, but others said it is a good platform to show off Korea's beauty to the world and serves as an occasional source of energy in their daily lives.
Asked if they remember who won last year's pageant, a whopping 83 percent said no. Undaunted, the 60th Miss Korea pageant takes place in July this year.
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