'Miss World not just about dumb beauties' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Miss World not just about dumb beauties'

Just another week left for the Miss World pageant when Gadde will represent India on the world forum.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2005 10:03 IST

The countdown has begun for Miss India World Sindhura Gadde. Just another week left for the Miss World pageant when Gadde will represent India on the world forum. Booh! you might say. We've become used to all such contests. They are just pageants full of looks and glamour, signifying nothing.

Model coordinator Rashmi Virmani counters, "Nobody there (at the Miss World pageant) is looking for dumb beauties." Seconds fashion designer Pooja Nayyar, “Looks are not synonymous with beauty. Beauty today comprises a package of looks and brains.

"International pageants are not like road-side tamashas. One has to be competent enough to face an international jury. Also, the way these events are planned is very different; they test your alertness and metal skills too,” she says.

Events like these, and especially when an Indian wins, definitely boost India's image. Virmani recounts, "I was in Germany for some practice sessions when Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen won their respective crowns. When local people came to know that we are from India, they thronged our studio in large numbers. They thought that like Ash and Sush, all Indian girls are pretty and wanted to meet my troupe members. Both these girls (Ash and Sush) perhaps don't realise how much good they have done to India's image," says Virmani.

A Miss World contestant is the cultural ambassador of her country, says Miss India 2004 Nikita Anand.

Carrying India abroad

Any beauty queen who represents India in international pageants is a cultural ambassador.Former beauty queen Nafisa Ali, now Chairperson, Children's Film Society of India says, "The aim of events like Miss India or Miss World is to choose a girl who can be an international mascot… somebody who can carry the beauty crown with grace." Here the definition of beauty is relative. Looks, attitude and confidence together define beauty at such events."

Virmani adds, "It is illogical to expect that a pageant like a Miss World or Miss Universe or even a Miss India will help people get rid of poverty or solve serious political issues. These events are more about the glitz, glamour and beautiful faces. They are held for entertainment and they do entertain people. So what's the harm."

Miss India 2004 Nikita Anand agrees that it's a great opportunity to represent Indian culture, values and ethos abroad. "It's a great to know that you are the chosen one to represent the county at an international event. You meet people from all squares of life and it's also an opportunity to make great friends. You may or may not win the crown but these memories definitely belong to you," says Anand.