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Made in China

"Made in China" offers a captivating look at China's beauty industry through the lens of the Miss China Universe pageant, revealing the transformative power of beauty and ambition.

Keywords: China, Beauty Industry, Miss Universe China, Yue-Sai Kan, Beauty Pageants, Social Mobility. Three words: Ambitious, Rigorous, Transformative


"Made in China" is a compelling documentary directed by Kim Dong-hoo and released in 2015. The film offers an up-close and personal look at China's booming beauty industry, focusing on the journey of contestants preparing for Miss China Universe. The main judge and mentor is Yue-Sai Kan, one of China's most successful women, who is determined to elevate China's standing on the global beauty map.


The documentary follows the rigorous training regimen of the contestants of Miss China Universe. These ambitious girls view the beauty pageant as an opportunity to catapult their social status in the new China. The film showcases their transformation under the tutelage of Yue-Sai Kan from hopeful contestants to potential international representatives of Chinese beauty.

More Film Analysis

Analysis   "Made in China" presents an in-depth exploration of the beauty industry in China. The film's storytelling is nuanced, balancing the glitz and glamour of beauty pageants with the hard work and dedication required from the contestants. The focus on Yue-Sai Kan introduces a compelling narrative of feminine power and influence in a traditionally patriarchal society.
Historical and Factual Context   China's beauty industry has seen rapid growth over the past few decades, coinciding with the country's economic rise. Beauty pageants, once banned as 'bourgeois,' have now become a launchpad for young girls seeking social mobility.

Key themes in the film

  • Aspirations and ambitions of young Chinese women
  • The transformative power of beauty pageants
  • The influence of western beauty standards in China

Film Comparisons

"Made in China" is reminiscent of documentaries like "Miss Representation" and "The September Issue," which also delve into the beauty industry's impact on women. However, "Made in China" stands out due to its focus on the Chinese context and its exploration of beauty pageants as a platform for social mobility.

Noteworthy Moments

One of the most striking moments in the documentary is when Yue-Sai Kan, a successful businesswoman and television personality, discusses her mission to put China on the international beauty scene's map.


"This documentary" has been praised for providing an intimate look at the lives of aspirational young women in China and the rigorous training they undergo for the beauty pageant. Critics applaud the film for its balanced portrayal of the beauty industry, highlighting both its allure and its demands.


"Made in China" is an important watch for those interested in understanding modern China's societal dynamics and the transformative power of the beauty industry. It is particularly relevant for viewers keen on exploring cultural intersections of beauty standards and social mobility.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%
  • Metacritic score: 68
  • Film Festival Awards: Winner of Best Documentary at the Beijing Film Festival



  • Yue-Sai Kan: A successful businesswoman, television personality, and the main judge of Miss China Universe.



  • Beijing: The capital of China, where the Miss China Universe pageant takes place.

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • How are western beauty standards influencing China's beauty industry?
  • What role do beauty pageants play in facilitating social mobility for young Chinese women?

Yue-Sai Kan: China's Beauty Queen

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, which one would it be? "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg - for its focus on female ambition and success.
  2. If this film was a famous song, which one would it be? "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys - representing the fiery ambition of the contestants.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, which one would it be? "The Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Vermeer - embodying beauty and mystery.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, who would it be? Tyra Banks - for her career in the beauty industry and empowering women.
  5. If this film was a color, which one would it be? Gold - representing ambition, success, and high standards.
  6. If this film was a music style, which one would it be? Pop - energetic, modern, and appealing to a wide audience.