MS World International Ambassador 2022 Priya Paramita Paul says that while people feel that a beauty pageant is all for glamour, the platform gives you a great opportunity to share your story with the world.
“I have seen queens like Mohini Sharma, who was Mrs India World 2017, and became the founder of Mrs. India Inc. I also know my coach, Audrey Dsilva (Miss India Goa 2017), who was in the top 10 Miss India 2017 contestants with Manushi Chhillar is the national director of Mrs India Grand International. Nikita Talwani( Miss India Andhra Pradesh 2019), is a pageant coach now. Sana Dua ( 1st runner up, Miss India 2017) was also the brand ambassador of Lok Sabha Election Commission 2019 and has become a pageant coach. So, it is not true that all beauty pageants aspire to be an actor, it used to be a few years back but now things have changed. Many people want to be in a beauty pageant because they get a platform to narrate their story and talk about what they believe in their life.
Recently, I was a judge in Miss Cosmos Queen 2022, and the participants were from the age of 15 years. When I asked them questions, I realised that everybody has their hidden stories of how society has judged them on the basis of their looks, how they are in academia or how they were neglected, being brought up by single parents, and how some believe that having no height is a barrier to be in a pageant. There are some, like me, who in their 30s realised that now they should live their life. So, as per my experience, as I get deep into this beauty pageant, I saw that every participant has a story to tell. They want to prove to society that they are also special and inspire many women. The value of beauty pageant at least in the current generation in our industry is very vast. Only a few people who are in this industry understand but all the participants are really beautiful inside out and they all are willing to change something for society,” she says.
She adds, “My views have immensely changed. Earlier, it used to be just my dream to wear a crown and represent India. Now, like I have said every beauty queen has gone through so much in their lives and they are just looking for a platform when’re they can speak and appreciate who they are. The value of the crown is not to give them a winner trophy, the value of the crown is that they are accepted as people have rejected them in their lives. In my pageant, I have seen women who are soldiers, pilots, doctors, lawyers and animal activists as well. They have been the participants and it’s very different then what it looks like. A statement by Lara Datta when she completed 20 years of her Miss universe stayed with me. She said, ‘Nobody is going to remember what gown you wore, what make up you had on, what your jewellery was like or whether your nails were painted but they will remember how you treated them and that’s the biggest lesson in life. It’s how you treat people, that’s the legacy you leave behind”
Meanwhile, Priya wants to enter the industry as an actor. “I am taking an acting course from Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares. I have been living my bucket list and I hope that my new step to become an actor becomes successful. I am working on my skill set and the rest is up the universe,” she says.