South Korea’s Kim Ye-Jin Wins Miss Deaf International 2014


Kim Ye-Jin, 28, was crowned as the female winner of Miss & Mister Deaf International 2014 held in London after battling 35 contestants from 25 countries.

Although Kim had won the contest on Aug. 5, Korea did not get wind of her victory until recently.

In an interview with Chosun Ilbo, the beauty queen shared that she originally had no intentions of entering the competition, let alone winning it. She had in fact set up the non-profit Miss & Mister Deaf Korea a few months ago in order to encourage others to compete in the event. When she couldn’t find the right candidate to represent Korea, she decided to enter herself.

“Korean deaf people have few opportunities on the world stage, and don’t try to grab them,” Kim said in her interview through sign language and writing. “It is important in the pageant for the deaf to show how they have become more strong-willed and considerate as they have to fight to overcome prejudices in society. I think the role of Miss Deaf is to use such experience and character to help those with disabilities to live in harmony with others.”

Not only did Kim pay for all the pageant expenses herself but she also taught herself international sign language and took lessons to master the traditional Korean drum dance. She also picked up runway walking tips by watching others practice in London.

Kim expressed that she plans to use her winning prize, which is equivalent to a one-year trip around the world, to launch a tour guide business next month that offers aid to foreign deaf tourists visiting korea. She plans to start the business next month and is currently working on a website, according to Chosun Ilbo.

Although this year was her first and last opportunity to participate in the contest due to age restrictions, there’s no doubt that Kim will be remembered as an inspirational Miss Deaf International.

Photo courtesy of Miss & Mister Deaf International