Massively voluminous hair and genuine smiles ― beauty queens are often known for their aesthetically pleasing appearances more than any other traits. However, 2019 Miss Korea talks about what she believes is the most important aspect ― inner beauty.
The 2019 Miss Korea Kim Sae-yeon is the first winner to have won a regional competition abroad. Having grown up in the United States since she was eight years old, she was crowned 2019 Miss Korea USA and then 2019 Miss Korea.
During an interview with The Korea Times at the K-Art Studio, Kim talked about her journey to the pageant.
"One year ago, today, I would never have thought that I would be here as a 2019 Miss Korea," she said. "I saw my sister run for Miss Korea USA last year … I saw how much she grew and positively changed throughout her experience, which inspired me to run for Miss Korea this year."
Rather than seeking the title and fame, she said she was most interested in the experience. Asked what she expected during her year-long reign, she answered, "I don't expect too much, just a lot of experience to grow as a person. I've heard what former Miss Koreas have done for the community and I would also like to participate in community service."
She said that because her goal was to enjoy and learn from each moment, she believed people would find her true self more beautiful than just being a stand out among the candidates.
"What I value the most is inner beauty," she said. "It is not just about the appearance, but instead, it's the value and the character. Of course, looks are included, but it is also the personality, intelligence and confidence that make a person beautiful."
Speaking about the training camp Miss Korea candidates attended for a month, Kim added, "There is no way to show inner beauty, even in front of the judges, in [such] a short span of time like six to 10 minutes. I think it is a month training process to see who we are, more than training us how to do our hair."
During the training camp, candidates have yoga, hair and makeup, walking and modeling lessons.
Kim remembered the dreamy crowning moments as totally unexpected. "I didn't know what to feel," she said. "I just felt grateful to my family and friends, and everyone who supported me along the way, who granted me the opportunity to be up there [on stage]." Her family had flown from Los Angeles to cheer for her.
As the incumbent Miss Korea, Kim wants to give inspiration and hope to future Miss Korea candidates.
"Because I am the first regional Miss Korea abroad, I want to say that nothing is impossible," she said. "I [also] didn't think that I was going to make it because I am Miss Korea USA," she said. "Height doesn't matter too much anymore or even the body. I am not too skinny by Korean standards, but I was able to get that, too."
She said that against the stereotypes, Miss Koreas had their own unique character and personality. Rather than a competition of beauties, the pageant also looked into a person's intelligence and kind-heartedness. "You have to be smart and intelligent," she said. "And you have to be nice and live a kind life with the right kind of thoughts. It is more of a competition where everybody can come and try."
source: The Korea Times & The Korea Times