Yet another beauty pageant is creating a buzz this year – but this time, for positive reasons. (hooray!) Last year, the Miss Korea pageant caused quite a bit of controversy after releasing the rather creepy head shots (shown below) of the 2013 contestants who all looked hauntingly similar. From the too-perfect porcelain skin tone to doll-like facial features, the phrase “Stepford Wives” comes to mind.  According to Cosmopolitan, after circulating the internet and bringing forth rumors of receiving plastic surgery treatments in order to look similar, the pageant contestants defended themselves, pointing the blame finger at make-up and Photoshop.

miss korea 2013 contestants
2013 Miss Korea Contestants

The 2014 Miss Korea pageant, however, has made it nearly impossible to allow such accusations to arise again – because after releasing this year’s contestant head shots (below), the lovely ladies are looking as diverse and beautiful as they could. Nixing the one-line neutral background and opting for various backgrounds, as well as allowing the girls to style their clothing, hair and makeup in a way that shows off their individual personalities, the Miss Korea pageant has really turned things around for themselves.

miss korea 2014 contestants
2014 Miss Korea Contestants

In an over-photoshopped world where promoting positive self-image among women is more important than ever, we are giving snaps to the Miss Korea pageant’s progressive step of featuring women of all shapes, sizes, and looks. The winner of this year’s Miss Korea pageant is Seoyeon Kim, a 22-year-old aspiring news anchor and student at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, who, as Comso points out, is described by the Korea Herald as having a “western figure.” Translation: taller and heavier than the other contestants (sigh)… we can’t determine if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

 What do you think of the 2014 Miss Korea pageant?

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Paige is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and is currently studying Journalism at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fluent in sarcasm with a severe case of wanderlust, she is a self-proclaimed professional thrifter, long-lost Olsen triplet, and pizza aficionado.