CANTON, China — A railway worker and a hotel attendant flaunted their bodies and their brains to win top prizes in China's first beauty contest, officials said today.
Wang Zijain, 22, a disease prevention worker at a train station in the southern city of Canton, accepted his trophy Wednesday before a crowd of 600 in the "Beauty and Transparency Palace" of Canton's China Hotel.
"Through this contest we've finally learned what true beauty is," Wang told the spectators.
Contest sponsors described Wang, dressed in a blue Western-style business suit, as a handsome, "sturdily built" 5-foot-9 railway worker.
The female first prize winner was Xie Ruochi, 20, a willowy attendant at Canton's White Swan hotel.
The beauty contest reportedly drew stern attacks from Communist Party hard-liners who feared it would give the world a bad impression, and officials attempted to bar foreign journalists from the final round.
Seventy percent of the 660 contestants were members of the Communist Party or Communist Youth League. Half of the participants were men and many were considered "model" workers, peasants or soldiers.