Charmaine Sheh Recalls Her Pageantry Experience

As one of the most successful actresses who competed in Miss Hong Kong pageantry, Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) shares how she kick-started her career even though she never intended to join the entertainment industry.

Appearing in a Chinese radio program, Charmaine recalled being urged to join the Miss Hong Kong when she was 5 years old, “I thought it was annoying and I resisted it.” However, when Charmaine returned to Hong Kong after studying hotel management from a university in Switzerland, Charmaine could not find a job and her mother once again urged her to join the pageantry. Charmaine and her mother actually had a fight over this matter but Charmaine eventually gave in after being encouraged by her friends.

To her surprise, Charmaine won second-runner up at Miss Hong Kong 1997. On the stage, Charmaine radiated with confidence even when she answered four out of five questions incorrectly. Charmaine confessed that she felt very nervous during her pageantry and didn’t believe she would advance to the finals. She explained that growing up, she went to an all-girls’ school and had a strict upbringing. This contributed to her shy personality and her fear of being in the spotlight.

Although Charmaine was reluctant to join the entertainment industry, she decided to become an actress after careful consideration.  Charmaine signed a contract with TVB and quickly became one of the station’s most heavily promoted actresses. Despite her success, Charmaine was initially criticized for her high-pitched voice and weak acting skills.

To deal with the stress of being a public figure, Charmaine would find at least four friends to vent her challenges, “After venting for the fifth time, it was no big deal! After venting for so many times, I would ask myself why I should be mad?”

When Charmaine first received criticism, she recalled being very upset. However, as she matured, Charmaine gradually gained confidence and learned to detach herself from the negativity, “At that time, I recalled being made a scapegoat for many things. But after experiencing this for so long, people can say whatever they want.”

At the age of 47-years old, Charmaine still has yet to find love, but she is not worried, “I can say with the bottom of my heart that I am very happy right now. I am healthy, I have family and friends. I like work. I eat and sleep well. I am happy and satisfied. As for the ‘Extra’, do I necessarily have to have what other people have? There is an equilibrium of gains and loss in life. If you want to pursue something, you may have to give a little something up.”

Source: HK01

This article is written by Sammi for


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  1. I like Charmaine’s outlook in life, maybe that’s why she’s known to have high EQ. It’s funny that people kept nagging her to join the entertainment industry… could be hit or miss, but I guess back in her day it was much easier to climb to the top and be known. Less competition.

    1. I don’t think there was less competition. Tvb had more fadans back then than they have now. Many of whom were household names like Charmine is today. Jdrama had a huge influence just like it Kdrama today. The only addition is China but that would have been considered foreign since the drama have to be dubbed.

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