“Thank you for the honorable prize. I will continue to work hard,” Kim was quoted as saying during the pageant.
While her victory drove some social media users to her accounts to congratulate her, many netizens flooded her Instagram with criticisms and hateful messages berating her for her looks, Nate reports.
“Honestly, my own sister is prettier than she is,” one commenter wrote in Korean.
“She looks like my next door neighbor,” another said.
“She had some interesting qualities, but not Miss Korea worthy,” one user added.
“She is so average though… How is she Miss Korea?” asked a netizen.
“What is this nonsense? She looks 30 years old,” wrote another.
Kim set her Instagram account to private to deal with the comments posted by her critics.
When she opened it to the public again a day later, she added “2018 MISS KOREA 眞” to her profile and deleted many of the malicious comments.
Meanwhile, some Korean netizens began criticizing the beauty pageant itself in social media discussions.
“Why are we still evaluating women by their looks and bodies? When is this ‘contest’ going to shut down?” a netizen asked.
“Miss Korea has long turned into a beauty pageant to pick who has had the most plastic surgery done. How meaningless!” one exclaimed.
“An Instagram ‘influencer’ was one of the judges. So much to the legitimacy of this contest. Miss Korea is dead,” pointed out another.
“I honestly wonder how f*cking amazing these haters look to be criticizing her appearance so much like this,” one user wrote.
Soo Min Kim, who dreams of becoming an international reporter, studied international business at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and majored in international management. Her hobbies include dancing, singing and impersonating voices.
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