Contestants in the Hubei beauty pageant will be judged by whether they measure up to the highly specific criteria. (File photo/CNS)
A beauty contest in central China's Hubei province has been ridiculed by internet users after it announced the "ideal" measurements for a women's body, including the distance between the nipples, saying it will use the standards to judge the contest's semi-finalists.
The contest is held by Model of China, a website focusing on model training and fashion which has been recruiting participants in the provincial capital Wuhan. The contest aims to select the ten most beautiful young women from among the universities in the area. It announced a new regulation on Friday that it will measure semi-finalists' bodies to see if they match the ideal measurements.
The measurements were created based on "internet research," according to Want Daily, our Chinese-language sister newspaper.
The contest's organizer says "the ideal height is around 7.1 times time of the length of head. Longer or shorter than this will not be considered perfect." The organizer said the ideal measurements at the bust, waist, and hips should be 51%, 34% and 54.2% of a woman's height.
The so-called ideal measurements for breast size have been the most controversial point as the organizer claims that perfect breasts should be fulsome, balanced, perky and have an even size, shape and position. It also goes into very specific details, such as that the width between the nipples should be longer than 20cm. The height of the breasts should be around 5cm to 6cm and also gave measurements for the proportion of the nipple and areola.
The organizer did not forget to give its verdict on what constitutes an ideal face, which has an eye width of around 46% of ear-to-ear width, a mouth-to-eyes length that is around 36% of the face length and a nose that is around one third of the length of the forehead. The organizer said the ideal thickness of the lips varies according to individuals but should be around 0.8cm to 0.9cm.
The new regulation was almost immediately queried by bystanders when it was posted at the registration. One netizen said, "How can you measure beauty?" The organizer said appearance and talent contribute 40% each to the candidates' total scores with online voting to determine the remaining 20%.
Zhou Cencen, the first applicant for the contest from Central China Normal University, a school that produces teachers, said she was not aware of the new regulation when she registered. She was stunned by the new measurements and is now unsure whether she should take part.
The other three young women who have registered are from another two normal universities and a police vocational college and declined to answer phone calls asking for comment.
The organizer admitted that the backlash from netizens has created a lot of pressure on the organizing body. Its office has five employees who produced the measurements after researching data on the internet for a few days. The director, who has worked at a local cosmetic surgery clinic and gynecology department for 12 years, said angrily, "Do they dislike beautiful women? We are not forcing any one to participate!"
"The measurements were not made up and have their own sources. Some of them are measurable but some are not," said professor Yi Min of Wuhan Textile University. However, the professor also said it is slightly ridiculous to set up a fixed measurement for beauty as subjective aesthetic perceptions are constantly changing.