Asia

From Mao suits to swimwear

Updated 10:24 PM ET, Tue October 18, 2011
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On the left, women in Beijing's civilian militia wear red mini-skirts and carry submachine guns in 1999; on the right, Contestants pose during a bikini photo call for the Miss Chongqing China Universe Pageant in 2007. AFP/Getty Images
Luo Zilin, representing China, poses on stage during the 60th annual Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Credicard Hall in Sao Paulo on September 12, 2011. AFP/Getty Images
In a picture taken on June 21, 2011 young Chinese women wait their turn during a qualifying for the Miss Chinese Cosmos beauty pageant in Beijing. AFP/Getty Images
In a picture taken on June 21, 2011 a young Chinese woman performs on stage during a qualifying for the Miss Chinese Cosmos beauty pageant in Beijing. AFP/Getty Images
Child beauty pageants are now on the rise in China, with New Silk Road holding modeling contests for not only young girls, but boys as well. This photo shows the contest's homepage. xsl.tianya.cn
In 1985 a government-run newspaper applauded the bikini as a "great challenge to the traditional concepts and remnants of feudal ideology," after they made their Chinese debut amid giggles and cat calls in a female body-building contest, Time Magazine reported. Time
In 1993, when the Miss World beauty pageant was commanding 1.8 billion viewers worldwide, according to its official website, the front page of the state-run Beijing Youth Daily published an article with a big, red headline reading, "Peking University women reject beauty pageants." Beijing Youth Daily
The Miss World 2010 Beauty Pageant finals at the Beauty Crown Theatre in the southern Chinese resort town of Sanya on October 30, 2010. Sanya has hosted the Miss World pageant five times in the past decade. AFP/Getty Images
"I am very lucky to represent China and show my country's history, love, charm and beauty," said Liu Chen, Miss World China 2011.