A lady stands wearing a splendid evening gown adorned with a brilliantly jeweled crown. Everyone is shouting out congratulations to her. She replies with, “What a wonderful night! I will endeavor to create world peace!” Just who is this lady? Miss Korea, Ms. Jinsol Kim. In reality, Ms. Kim did not reply with a stereotypical response. She is more self-confident and cheerful and dreams of being the next icon of modern woman. The Sookmyung Times met Kim Jinsol, winner of Miss Korea 2016, to learn about true beauty and what she thinks it means to be Miss Korea.
First of all, what made you enter a beauty contest, especially the Miss Korea pageant, the biggest one in Korea?
Before entering the Miss Korea beauty pageant, I was a very typical university student. Like others, I worried about my uncertain future, and even suffered from a lack of self-regard. I wanted to overcome this, so I began doing some investigation. I wanted to challenge myself by doing something other than ordinary university student works. Also, I wanted to have a positive impact on others. For all these reasons, I decided to enter the Miss Korea beauty pageant.
Being Miss Korea is the envy of many people in Korea. However, most people, whether they a pro- or con-pageant, do not know about a beauty contest’s process. Could you tell us about the pageant process?
The preparatory period varies considerably. For some, it took the person a year, but for others, it took several years. My preparatory period was extremely short because I planned on entering the contest in January of this year. I centered on diet, exercise, and maintain a regular lifestyle. In terms of skincare, the most important thing is to keep a regular lifestyle. I was very conscience of my lifestyle all the time. Also, as communication is another important aspect of the contest, I worked on improving my public speaking skills and pronunciation. I read plenty of books and concentrated on the correct pronunciation.
What did you find most difficult preparing for the pageant?
I faced a number of challenges. As you know, there are so many delicious kinds of food lining the streets in front of our school, so maintaining a proper diet was hard. I was also under a lot of emotional pressure. Whenever I make a decision to do something, it takes me a long time to decide, and once I’ve decided, because I am a perfectionist, I get the task done and done well. During the contest, however, as I was tired, I often thought “I decided to do this, but what if I fail?” However, I soon got back on track thinking, “Why did I enter this contest? To better myself. I don’t need to be obsessed about winning.” With these thoughts, I enjoyed each stage of the pageant, and thanks to these thoughts, I raised my self-esteem and self-respect, also.
Pageant contestants were all wonderful, but in the end, you came out on top. What do you feel set you apart from others and gave you the edge to win Miss Korea 2016?
Perhaps, it was my sincerity. I do all things sincerely just like meaning of my name, Jinsol, which means sincerity in Korean. Perhaps that is what appealed to the panel of judges. At the initial competition for a representative from Seoul, I met many beauty and wonderful contestants, so I keep pondering about how I could stand out from them. At first, I started to imitate others rather than be myself. I lost myself for a bit, but then I thought deeply about my actions and decided to show the true me. To do this, I needed to think about who I was. Knowing yourself is important and hard, but I did it and luckily I came out on top
The objective of the Miss Korea beauty pageant is to select a representative of Korea beauty, a lady with intelligence and dignity. However, lately, many criticize the pageant for being too commercial sexually and dispute the standardization of beauty for selection. As a winner of the pageant, how you feel about this?
Since Miss Korea is foremost a beauty contest, I can’t ignore some of the issues, but it is not all negative. Before participating in the pageant, I used to think Miss Korea was all about appearance and being the center of attention. However, after joining the pageant, I realized that I was ignorant of all that was involved. Appearance is only one part. The person must be an intellect and have a great personality. Obviously, the person must also be able to handle the stress and pressure of the event as well. I think the panel of judges is fully aware of the criticism, so they keep that in mind when choosing a winner. Also, because winners of the Miss Korea pageant are also fully aware of the criticism, we try to show the public our diversity, creativity, and talent in order to breakdown stereotypes, so look for changes in the near future.
As representative of Korea beauty in 2016, what do you think true beauty is?
Throughout the pageant, I constantly pondered the meaning of true beauty. I don’t think it stems from one of appearance or inner, but is connected to self-confidence and self-esteem. Reflection on the topic, I realized that the time I am most beautiful is on stage. Because I believe in myself, I am confident in front of others and beautiful. I am not trying to sound conceited, but I think beauty is charm, spurted out from confidence. Thus, in my opinion, true beauty comes from self-confidence and self-esteem.
What are your goals and plans for future?
As Miss Korea, representing Korean women, nationally and globally, I want to do something to help women be truly beautiful. I hope that no matter what they do or where they go, they feel confident and express themselves. At the moment, I don’t have a concrete plan, but someday I will show ‘gentle power to change the world’. Also, as a person, I want to live as a role model for others, not just a beauty icon for Korean women. Sometimes, I imagine myself on a talk show, talking about my life and events that changed my life, but most of all, I would love to one day hear “I want to be just like you.” For my dream to come true, I need to develop myself more and get ready for change. In the near future, I plan to study advertising in more depth, which I really enjoy learning, and then I hope to become an all-around entertainer who can design adverts and even star in the advertisement.
Finally, would you like to offer any final words to Sookmyungians?
During my first year at Sookmyung, I felt lost. At that time, I had low self-esteem and self-confidence and even criticize myself. However, I made up my mind to change, and I did. I know that many of you fear change as it is difficult and often extremely challenging. Nevertheless, it is important that you try. Although the wall ahead looks frightening, go for it head first. Once you try, you will become a Sookmyungian who shines and a confident young lady. Thus, please do not hesitate; the wall can crumble if you go for change. Try your best passionately.
• Department of Voal Music ‘13
• Winner of Miss Korea 2016