Zhang Zilin-China’s first Miss World unveiled in 2007

Zhang Zilin (or as it can perhaps more properly be spelt, Zhang Zi Lin) has been crowned as Miss World 2007. Zilin (or, as noted, Zi Lin) is the first Chinese woman to win the title.

A BEAMING Zhang Zi Lin was busy plotting her travels round the globe after the Chinese beauty wowed the home crowd to become China’s first-ever Miss World. The statuesque 23-year-old pipped her rival finalists from Angola and Mexico to take the crown on at the 57th edition of the beauty pageant – which organisers said was watched by a global television audience of two billion people. The model-thin Zhang, who nevertheless says her favourite foods are chocolate and ice cream, was the tallest of the 106 contestants at 182cm – and was standing even taller after Saturday’s win. “I’m the first Chinese to win the title and more importantly I won in my own country,” said Zhang, resplendent in a sparkling, pale pink dress as she addressed the media on her first full day on the job as Miss World 2007. “I’m very proud and surprised as well,” she said in the Chinese resort of Sanya, which has hosted the annual gala of gloss and glitz for four of the past five years. Zhang, who spoke in halting English during the competition, used an interpreter yesterday – something that may have to change during her year-long tour of duty.

One slight oddity is that Zhang Zilin has a very "western" look to her. As you can see in these pictures from Miss World, she does look slightly Asian, but it’s an influence on her looks: she’s very much the image of a westerner’s idea of a beautiful Chinese woman that a Chinese one.