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In Britain we're rather dismissive of beauty contests, but in many countries they're seen as big events.
How have they changed in the 21st century and why does any woman - or country - think this is the way to the top?
The USA is the mother of the modern pageant and about 3500 take place there every year.
Rosie goes behind the scenes of Miss Louisiana, a contest with big hair and big ambitions, set deep in the Bible Belt South.
The contestants are already experienced beauty queens and see pageants as a job.
If they win, they qualify for Miss America.
A series exploring the world of beauty contests.
Rosie Goldsmith travels to the USA, South Africa and China to attend three very different contests.
How have they changed in the 21st century and why does any woman, or country, think this is the way to the top?
Sun City in South Africa is hosting the Face of Africa, with contestants from all over the continent.
Until the end of apartheid, segregation also took place in beauty contests.
If Miss South Africa once showcased the typical blond, blue-eyed, long-legged beauty, Face of Africa today features mainly Black women.
But in this new post-apartheid era, what is African beauty and why are there no white finalists this year?
Sun City in South Africa is hosting the Face of Africa contest, with contestants from all over the continent.
If Miss South Africa once showcased the typical blond, blue-eyed, long-legged beauty, Face of Africa now features mainly Black women.
After decades of official disapproval - Chairman Mao called them bourgeois nonsense - beauty pageants are back on the agenda, all part of China's opening up.
And the bigger and the more international the better.
Rosie attends Miss Tourism Queen International in the city of Hangzhou which aims to promote China's fast-growing tourist industry.
The trouble is the contest is in chaos and the girls are unhappy.
So can China really hope to become the choice location for the beauty pageants of the future?