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Dubbed “the most famous woman in China” by People magazine, Yue-Sai Kan, born in 1949 in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is a Chinese-American television personality, cosmetics entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian. Recently, she was crowned with one more title - president of the 2011 Miss Universe China Pageant.
Not long ago, reporters from China Pictorial (CP) interviewed her at her home in Beijing. By chance, we bumped into Miss China Luo Zilin, who recently returned home after winning acclaim in the final round of the 60th Miss Universe pageant held in Brazil.
The more we talked with Kan, the more we admired her. She’s like a close friend, rather than a celebrity.
When asked about training a potential Miss China, Kan was so familiar with the subject that she could describe characteristics of each trainee and how training courses were developed to fix weaknesses of each Chinese competitor. She is even considering authoring a book to share her training experience with fans.
CP: We know that you were honored in the Narcissus Princess Pageant when you were 19 - an important turning point of your life - you have said. During training for this Miss Universe pageant, did you wish the same sort of experience for your trainees?
Kan: Look at this e-mail from a Miss Universe competitor: “This contest has changed my life. Several media outlets, including magazines and TV stations, have asked me to work for them as a model. I found that my life has experienced a dramatic change since my return to Beijing.... I appreciate everything that you’ve done for me!” This is just one girl of many who have shared their true feelings with me.
Throughout its history of six decades, the Miss Universe Pageant has remained the most-renowned and largest of its kind in the world. Over the last few years, China has been involved, but results have been far from satisfying. I was really sad about last year’s performance when the Chinese contestant ranked last in the costume presentation segment.
This is beyond a modeling contest - it showcases the image of a nation’s women. She was not known by her name, Zilin, during the last contest. She was labeled Miss China.
CP: Yes, indeed! We know that the beauty pageant has reached far beyond the contest itself. What do you think about the contest?
Kan: It’s international, like beauty “Olympics.” We’ve been looking for the one who can beat everyone else in this great event. We’d love to see her stand on the podium with her trophy, representing China, which is increasingly drawing world attention today.
I’ve been working hard to train the candidates not only physically but also to show them how to present themselves perfectly and completely. They learn how to talk and behave. I’ve been working with world-class tutors throughout the course of training.
Our motto is “Cheer for Chinese Women and Win Honor for the Nation.”
To me, the promotion of beauty of Chinese women is showcasing the beauty of China - a soft ad for the nation.