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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Miss World's Parents Concerned About Her Future

Many Russians are excited about their countrywoman, Julia Kurochkina, being crowned Miss World this month. But for Julia's parents her victory is a two-sided coin, combining happiness for her new-found fame with concern about how it will affect her life.


Despite her $63, 000 prize for becoming Miss World, Marina and Alexander Kurochkina say they are determined she should finish her studies at the Finance and Economics Institute of Moscow. She hopes to graduate as a financier, an unusual career for a beauty queen.


"Of course WE are proud of her", said Julia's mother, Marina, "but we think the modeling should only be temporary work. Education is far more important".


Both are worried about Julia because they have had sparse contact with her in London, where the Miss World organization requires her to stay until after New Year. They would like her to come back sooner, and are concerned that when she does return, the Miss World officials will monopolize her life.


The parents, both engineers, complain that they cannot call their daughter, because they lack automatic dialing. Julia has only been able to call them once, very briefly, and told them the Miss World organizers banned them from talking to journalists.


They said they have not read the Miss World contract in detail, are confused about her obligations, and were unaware of possible problems because she was sent to the pageant in South Africa this monthcontest by a Russian company, Zodiak-M, without being selected as Miss Russia.


Her father nervously cited another concern. "One must not forget that, not only is it physically hard to be a model, it is also morally difficult".


Morally difficult? "Well, she is only 18 after all", he sighed, pacing up and down the living room like any anxious father. Edging around the question, Alexander explains that he does not like her to come home late at night.


Looking at the tall and attractive couple, it is obvious why Julia measures 1. 83 meters, the tallest of the 83 Miss World contestants.


Decorations and furniture in their small, recently refurbished apartment are subdued. The only picture is of Julia modeling a fur coat. Julia's small dog, Rita, seems to sense the nervousness of the couple and follows Alexander's every move.


Marina and Alexdnder have taken the day off from work. Marina, dressed in a purple and white house coat, has just talked to a representative from Queen of Saba, an Austrian clothing store on Ulitsa Tverskaya, who wants Julia to host a charity show in Poland.


In the small run-down town of Shcherbinka, just outside Moscow, everyone claimed to know the new Miss World. Passersby on the icy streets, described her as modest, intelligent, and cheerful. All expressed surprise about the victory, saying they were unaware she was participating.


Julia kept her modeling career a secret, afraid that she would be frowned upon by her peers, explained Angela Anisomova, a close friend.


"Julia had already been working for a year when she finally told me about her work", said the friend of 14 years. "She was a bit embarrassed and worried what people would think of her".


As far as Anisomova knows, Julia has no boyfriends. Instead, the beauty queen is big on tennis, aerobics and walking and likes to read Russian classics, especially Pushkin, Turgenev and Tolstoy, according to her friend.


As for the Kurochkinas, they still cannot get used to the idea of having a famous daughter. "Yes, it's crazy". Alexander says, "Things have really changed. Now everyone wants Julia to work for them, instead of the other way around".