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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004, 15:10 GMT
China crowns Miss Plastic Surgery
Feng Qian celebrates after winning the contest
Feng says the surgery has changed her 'whole life'
A 22-year-old student has been crowned China's first ever Miss Artificial Beauty at a pageant exclusively for women who have had plastic surgery.

Feng Qian received gifts worth 50,000 Yuan ($6,000) after beating 19 other finalists aged 17 to 62 in Beijing.

To prevent cheating, all contestants - who included one transsexual - had to provide a doctor's certificate to prove that they had indeed had surgery.

China's fast-growing cosmetic surgery is now worth $2.4bn a year.

'Girls like us'

Ms Feng said she was proud of her glamorous, albeit artificial looks, achieved through botox injections and surgery to widen her eyes and remove fat from her cheeks and waist.

Liu Yulan
Beauty before age? At 62, Ms Liu was the oldest contestant

"I think this contest offered a platform for all the girls who have undergone plastic surgery and aren't willing to talk about it," Ms Feng - who is training to be a plastic surgeon herself - told reporters.

"This is recognition of the girls like us," she added.

The two of most high-profile participants - 62-year-old Liu Yulan and transsexual Liu Xiaojing - shared a prize for Best Media Image.

"The pursuit of beauty is eternal. Cosmetic surgery shouldn't just be something that belongs to the young," said Liu Yulan, who is now retired.

During the week-long event, contestants competed for a series of awards, including the biggest change, the best body and the best personality.

Fixation

The competition was another sign of China's increasing fixation with beauty as the country grows more prosperous, experts say.

Liu Xiaojing
Liu Xiaojing was a man three years ago
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.

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.


SEE ALSO:
Chinese woman seeks perfect beauty
24 Jul 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Miss Peru wins world beauty title
04 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China's Hainan set for Miss World
01 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China warms to Miss World
02 Dec 03 |  Asia-Pacific



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