December 14 will mark the first day of finals for most Cornellians. While most students will stagger, caffeine-laden and unkempt, into their exams, one student will be in London, competing in the 69th Miss World pageant.
Ji-Yeon Lim ’21 will represent South Korea in Miss World 2019, one of 130 participants in the oldest running international beauty pageant.
To earn her place as South Korea’s representative, Lim competed in the Miss World Korea pageant in Seoul on Sept. 5, winning the title and securing her spot in the Miss World Competition.
At Cornell, Lim is pursuing a double major in Communications and Information Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — and her professors have been supportive of her pageant pursuits, she said. Lim has also been involved in Student Union Board, LOKO Arts Team, several research labs and a project team.
Lim said that Cornell’s motto of “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study,” as well as Cornell’s diverse student body, encouraged her to pursue new experiences — including Miss World Korea.
“This is my first involvement and exposure to pageantry,” Lim said. “I was originally traveling to Korea to visit, but many people, including those in the beauty field, encouraged me to do the Miss World Korea pageant.”
Lim said that the Miss World Korea pageant was a “long process with busy scheduling,” but that she is honored to represent her country and to be a role model for women.
“They truly focused on finding the inner beauty of each individual,” said Lim “In addition, they were searching for someone who was a leader and a role model in empowering women.”
Lim also wants to use her position to help her community and make a social impact.
“It was an honor to be crowned,” said Lim “At the same time, I felt the weight and responsibility of the crown as a national representative and role model. As Miss World Korea and as a Cornell student, I aim to focus on helping and influencing positive social changes.”
Between now and the Miss World competition in London, Lim will have to frequently travel back and forth between South Korea and Cornell.
“I am working diligently to balance both aspects of my life and am giving my best efforts as a student and Miss World Korea,” said Lim. “Studying at Cornell and returning back to my daily routine has been refreshing and serene.”
The finale of the Miss World Competition on December 14 will be broadcast to over 150 countries, including the United States, where Cornell community members can watch their fellow Cornellian compete for the crown.