A novel beauty pageant exclusively for women who have had plastic surgery on their face or body has begun in China.
The contest will last for a week
Nineteen contestants aged 17 to 62 paraded on stage in Beijing on Sunday as finalists in the week-long Miss Artificial Beauty contest.
China's fast-growing cosmetic surgery is now worth $2.4bn a year.
To prevent cheating, all contestants - who include one transsexual - have to provide a doctor's certificate to prove that they have indeed had surgery.
But last-minute nips and tucks are not allowed - all surgery must have been completed no later than 29 May.
Contests will compete for a series of awards, including the biggest change, the best body and the best personality.
Other prizes will be given for best figure and best stage demeanour.
The competition is another sign of China's increasing fixation with beauty as the country grows more prosperous.
In big cities, cosmetic surgery has become a trend as women and some men go under the knife to improve their looks, emerging as "renzao meinu" man-made beauties.
Beauty before age? At 62, Ms Liu is the oldest contestant
"Before, I couldn't imagine that it was possible to have
places where the old could become young and the ugly could become beautiful," said Liu Yulan, who at 62 is the oldest contestant.
She has had a facelift and surgery on her eyelids.
"I'm not here for a prize," said Ms Liu, who was wearing a
formfitting carmine Mandarin-collar dress with silver
"I wanted to convey a message to society - that the pursuit of beauty is ageless," she added.
Sex change challenge
The idea for the contest took shape after a contestant was disqualified from a Chinese beauty pageant earlier this year because she had had plastic surgery.
"This contest shows women's strong pursuit of beauty," said organiser Han Wei.
"We would like to use it to unveil the mystery of manmade beauty and let society have a complete understanding of every aspect."
Beauty pageant contestant Liu Xiaoping used to be a man
Liu Xiaojing, a 21-year-old finalist from the north-eastern
city of Harbin, was a man until three years ago.
"Becoming beautiful is the wish of everyone," said Ms Liu, who was wearing a strapless turquoise dress.
"I am now legally a woman and this contest is my first formal step toward womanhood," she said.
Her eligibility was being reviewed by organisers who only learnt of her previous identity on the opening day.
Ms Liu remained determined, however.
"If they disqualify me, I will use legal means to seek fairness," she said.