The Business of Beauty: Zilin Luo, Zhuo Ling & Others

Zilin Luo
Zilin Luo

Many people are familiar with the Miss America pageant and other well known pageants, but far fewer know about the Miss Universe China pageant. The Miss Universe China Organization was first established in 2001 and the first titleholder, Zhuo Ling, was selected in Guangdong province in March of 2002.

In 2011, the Miss Universe Organization designated that Yue-Sai Kan would be the official licensee for the People’s Republic of China. In her first year, Yue-Sai Kan set up a major pageant, flying in celebrities such as Petra Nemcova, Fadil Berisha and Riyo Mori to headline the event. That year Zilin Luo was crowned as Miss Universe China, and she went on to become the 4th runner up out of 89 countries in the Miss Universe Organization Pageant that was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011.

Yue-Sai has stated that the goal of the Miss Universe organization is to “Celebrating Chinese Women and to use the power of beauty to do good in the world.” Certainly, this has been true, as the pageant has raised millions of dollars for China’s national charities and for the Kan’s China Beauty Charity Foundation. Participants in the pageants have included Paris Hilton and Charles Aznavour. The former Harper’s Bazaar chief Lizzette Kattan has offered the styling for the candidates each year like Zilin Luo.

Winners of the Miss Universe China pageant receive a valuable crown that has a diamond and ruby-encrusted tiara from Luk Fook valued at over $430,000. They also get wardrobes supplied by Shanghai Tang, Sherri Hill, LOVA and Guo Pei.

A Tomato A Day Keeps the Doctor Away?


In the first study of its kind that’s been done, researchers from the University of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford looked at the diets and lifestyles of close to 14,000 men aged 50 to 69. They concluded that men who ate at least portions of tomatoes a week were 18% less likely to develop prostate cancer than were those who had no tomatoes or very few.

They believe that the magical protection against illness comes from a key chemical in the tomato known as lycopene. Men should not panic – the tomatoes don’t have to be eaten raw. It counts if it’s tomato-based sauces that people use, tomato juice and even tomato puree on a pizza.

And being an overachiever is even a benefit here. Men who doubled their intake of fruit and vegetables to the five portions a day that is recommended reduced their risk by almost a quarter.

Now, one portion is equal to 150 grams of tomatoes, half a pint of baked beans or a portion of pizza with a tomato puree. It’s best to keep it as pure as possible, however, and not to overindulge in baked beans and pizza sauce as they have high levels of salt content.

Prostate cancer ranks as the most common form of illness for men. There are 41,700 new cases each year and 10,700 deaths in the UK alone. As research leader Vanessa Er, of the University of Bristol, said: “Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention. We also found men who ate more fruits and vegetables had a reduced risk of prostate cancer. The risk reduction figure for men who ate five or more portions of fruit or vegetables, compared to those who ate less than two and a half portions, was 24 per cent.”

Some in the medical profession disagree with a stud of this sort. As Dr. Iain Frame of the Prostate Cancer UK said, “Studies like these are notoriously difficult to interpret and should be done so with extreme caution. It is difficult to separate the effects of one type of food from another, and we still don’t have nearly enough evidence to make concrete recommendations on which specific foods men should eat to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. What we do know is that men shouldn’t rely too heavily on one type of food, such as tomatoes. A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables together with regular exercise is by far the best option.”

Bhutan: Get Away to Luxury with the Aman Hotels and Vladislav Doronin


Anyone hoping to add a fantastic place to his bucket list will not want to overlook Bhutan. This landlocked country bordered by China and India is rich in history, lush in landscape and captivating in culture. In 2013, they welcomed nearly 120,000 visitors, which was the highest in their history.

Bhutan has been turning to tourism for revenue, but is certainly hoping to keep its rich spiritual and religious life intact. They are careful as they try to balance growth and modernization with their heritage.

The rise in tourism has certainly helped to provide more jobs, and the government is hoping that this can help to keep so many from migrating to India or Thailand. There are more than 1000 travel operators in the country and the industry employs close to 30,000. As one Bhutanese man who operates a travel agency for filmmakers and documentarians, Tashi Tshering, said, “the promotion done by high end resorts have benefited us a lot. More people are aware of us.”

Vladislav Doronin
Vladislav Doronin

Those interested in coming to Bhutan will have many options. Aman Resorts, with majority owner Vladislav Doronin, offers incredibly luxurious hotel accommodations in remote locations. They have five properties in the country and they were the first foreign hotel operator allowed to build in Bhutan in 2004.

John Reed, the managing director for Aman’s hotels in Bhutan said that their resorts create a feel of “rustic luxury” and that they support the local community. As he said, “We get our vegetables from local farmers. We buy Bhutanese handicraft pieces. We hire locals. We dress them in local attire, not uniforms. We want the local economy to benefit.”

They give back to the community as well. As Reed explains, “We help whitewash monasteries, rebuild structures, and teach English and math in classrooms.”

Other great hotel choices include Taj Tashi and Uma. Mukesh Cupta, who operates the oldest travel agency for Bhutan, Bhutan Travels, also recommends Zhiwa Ling in Paro. The hotel has a temple on the second floor with rescued wood from the 400 year old Gangtey Monastery and is decorated with all local décor.

Certainly, everyone from the Aman Group with Vladislav Doronin to Zhiwa Ling balances their desire for tourists with the sanctity of the holy sites and the environmental issues in the area. Last year’s gross revenues from tourism exceeded $63 million and are the highest to date.

Sleepy Teenagers May Be Fatter Adults

teenager sleep

Your teenager’s lack of sleep just might be making him fat. That’s the result of a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics and conducted by Columbia University and the University of North Carolina.

The study found that teenagers who get less than six hours of sleep a nigh are 20% more likely to be obese later in life. The researchers found that, by age 21, those who had 8 hours of sleep during their teen years were significantly less likely to be overweight.

Researchers looked at information for more than 10,000 American kids aged 16. They revisited the information on the same kids when they were 21. 20% of the 16 year olds reported to getting less than six hours of sleep. This group was 20% more likely to be obese at 21 than were their peers who slept for 8 hours a night.
As Shakira Suglia, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said, “Lack of sleep in your teenage years can stack the deck against you for obesity later in life.”

“Once you’re an obese adult, it is much harder to lose weight and keep it off. And the longer you are obese, the greater your risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The message for parents is to make sure their teenagers get more than eight hours a night.”

4 Unusual Hotel Perks Coming Your Way

goldfishIf you’re interested in a rather unique hotel stay, here are a few choices for your pleasure:

  1. Kimpton Hotels: Are you missing your pet? Wish you had brought your fish along for the ride? No problem. With this US chain’s “Guppy Love” program you can have a goldfish put in your room during your stay. Hotel staff are responsible for the care of the fish and you can relax next to your aquarium and lower your stress levels.
  1. The Benjamin in New York has a sleep specialist on staff who offers guidance through the “Rest & Renew” program. Part of this program includes special pillows that guests can order off of the “pillow menu” and includes a power nap kit.
  1. At Provence Hotels your pet will be taken care of. This hotel has an in-room massage package that includes Reiki treatments and more. They have an in-house pet psychologist, pet grooming, dog walking and more.
  1. Finally, for guests who need a fragrance pick-me-up, the Vancouver Hotel Georgia offers a fragrance butler. Yes, this is true. He will come to your room with ten fragrances on a silver platter and you can select from the high-end brands to smell your best.