December 05, 2009

ARNABeauty Contest

On a quiet Sunday evening in Beijing, I received an urgent call from a coworker. A client of my company had given us tickets to go to a beauty contest, but the client manager could not make it. Could I go instead? Not wanting any of my other colleagues to be disturbed on their day off, I made an exception to my "no working on weekends" rule and accepted the offer. I had only an hour before the show was scheduled to start, so I rushed out of my apartment.

I rendezvoused with another colleague directly on the subway, notifying him when I was nearing the stop he was at so that he could hop aboard. Unfortunately, we were in different compartments at opposite ends of the train. At each successive stop we jumped out and walked towards each other, before getting back on the train just before the doors slammed shut. A couple of stops later we converged, and he gave me my ticket. The event was called the Kanebo 7 Beauty Pageant. We got off at the appropriate subway station, and jumped into an auto rickshaw-like vehicle that dropped us of at the entrance to the Olympic Sports Centre. The show was starting in minutes. We frantically sprinted through the parking lot before entering the stadium where the event was being held.

The performance was action packed. A bevy of Chinese beauties smiled, danced, and posed for the audience. There were about forty of them. An hour and a half into the program, one of them actually spoke. The crowd grew restless. The focus quickly shifted back to their stronger attributes, as they started dancing and smiling again. After a winner was crowned and confetti poured down from above, I made my way to the floor. Some of the finalists were still milling about while workers were disassembling the stage around them. Squeals of delight were heard, as the ARNABabes posed with the Indo-Canadian Temptation for a photograph.


“It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.” - Oscar Wilde