The countdown to PC Jewellers Miss India Worldwide India, an HT City initiative, has begun. Before the contest, slated for January 31, we catch up with last year’s winner Shagun Sarabhai, who went on to win Miss India Worldwide in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Unlike many lovelies who see beauty pageants as a shortcut to films, Shagun, 21, participated for a different reason. “I felt this was a platform that could tap my true potential, help me move ahead and break the myth that beauty pageants objectify women.”
She explains, “This platform didn’t expect me to have 34-26-34 vital stats or a certain height. It answered the question I’ve always asked, ‘If you don’t have these stats, does that mean you are not talented enough to represent your country?’”
Coming from a family of doctors, the homeopathy student is concentrating on her studies, keeping modelling and acting only as “options”. Her modelling and acting credits include big-name ads, a show for Ferragamo, walking the ramp in Fashion and a cameo in Bhool Bhulaiyya. She would consider films full time if she gets “the kind of launch Deepika [Padukone] got in Om Shanti Om”.
It had taken just an announcement on the radio for Shagun to audition for the Miss India Worldwide India contest and then conquer the rivals. The limelight, she says, has not changed her, except making her “a stronger person who has learnt to handle competition”. The contest boosted her self-esteem, says Shagun. “It reinforced my belief that beauty is all about having courage, confidence and conviction in oneself.”