Meet Miss Korea 2019: Beauty, brain and a heart for service

  • The 2019 Miss Korea shares her insights on beauty, the pageant circuit, and her journey towards the crown.
  • She shares that she would also like to be a part of the community service that past Miss Koreas have started
  • And that beauty should not only be perceived at face value.

The 2019 Miss Korea is definitely an embodiment of beauty, wisdom, and grace. Apart from being the first winner to have won a regional competition abroad, Kim has exhibited that she is a well of wisdom as well as humility. 

Kim, a 20-year-old graphics designer from the United States, was able to best 31 other contestants for this year’s Miss Korea competition held in the Grand Peace Hall at Kyung Hee University last July 11. She is now a holder of two titles, being crowned 2019 Miss Korea USA, and then 2019 Miss Korea. 

In an interview with The Korea Times, Kim got candid about her experiences while joining the pageant, as well as the lessons that she learned in the process. Instead of chasing the coveted crown, she was more interested in the opportunities that she could take to grow as a person. 

“One year ago, today, I would never have thought that I would be here as a 2019 Miss Korea,” she expressed. “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.” 

When asked what she was expecting during her reign as Miss Korea, 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.”

As the incumbent Miss Korea, Kim aims to be an 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.” Kim hammered home the point with, “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.”

INNER BEAUTY IS KEY

Kim said that because her goal was to savor and learn from each moment, she also believed that people would find beauty in her true self more, rather than just being another pretty face in the crowd. 

“What I value most is inner beauty,” she said, emphasizing that beauty is more than just the aesthetics and outer beauty. “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 makes a person beautiful.”

She also spoke about the training camp every Miss Korea candidates attend for a month, and added that it was a way to learn more about themselves. “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.”

Kim touched on stereotypes that have propagated both in the pageant world and in Korean society as well. She drew focus on how Miss Koreas each have their own unique character and personality. Instead of pageants being just a competition of outer beauty, it can also be an avenue to share a person’s individuality 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’s more of a competition where everybody can come and try.”

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