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Updated: April 24, 2013 19:41 IST

Tackling beauty with attitude

NIKHIL VARMA
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PREPARED: For the battles ahead
PREPARED: For the battles ahead

This year’s Miss India winners proffer their practised lines on beauty, brains, and Bollywood

The twin victories by Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen in the Miss World and Miss Universe contests in 1994 ensured that global beauty brands discovered a new market in the recently-globalised economy.

Over the next six years, India kept producing an assembly line of beauties bagging international pageants.

However, the crowns have eluded the country for the last 13 years. Navneet Kaur Dhillon, Sobhita Dhulipala and Zoya Afroz, the winners of the Femina Miss India pageant this year aim at bagging the titles and bringing the crowns home.

In town as part of the showstoppers for the Max Runway collection, the contestants talked about their victory at the Miss India pageant and preparations for the tougher tests that lay ahead. For Navneet and Sobhita, the Miss India pageant was the first occasion to showcase their modelling skills.

“We had spent many months preparing for the pageant. Emerging winners in the most popular pageant in the country was very difficult. It required a lot of hard work and dedication,” says Navneet.

If anyone thought that beauty pageants were all about beauty and no brains, it is a massive mistake, contends Navneet Kaur Dhillon, Miss India World 2013. “Winning any competition owes a lot to intelligence, hard work and the manner in which the contestant is able to present herself to the jury. Looks do not matter as much. Your attitude and intelligence is what takes you forward.”

For Sobitha Dhulipala, winning the title of Miss India Earth was a great achievement. “It is a great honour to represent your country in such a contest. I want to bag the crown. I am preparing myself for the Miss Earth pageant that will be held in six months. As part of the training regimen, I hit the gym regularly and am on a special diet. It also involves a great deal of training. I am keen on Bollywood and a career in the movies and will try it, once the pageant is over.”

Zoya Afroz, Miss India International 2013, quips, “I have been keen about working in films and have essayed many roles as a child artiste. I am a movie buff and am very keen on trying my hand at films once the pageant is over. I am thrilled at representing India and hope to bring the coveted title home.”

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