2000 is considered the golden year for Indian beauty queens. This year, all the three Miss India winners won the most prestigious international beauty pageants. In a pleasant surprise, India bagged the crown of Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific for the year 2000. This proved the dominance of Indian beauty and intellect across the globe.
Every year, beauty pageants are held to select a woman leading in all dimensions of beauty, intellect and responsibility. She is a source of inspiration to thousands of women. Undoubtedly, India has always been a country of beautiful and gorgeous women.
And this fact got proved when in the year 2000, Miss India Lara Dutta, Miss India first runner up Priyanka Chopra and Miss India second runner up Diya Mirza got the crown of Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific. These ladies made the country feel with pride.
Let us have a look at the thrilling stories of these three beauties that brought the world at their feet.
Miss India 2000 Lara Dutta represented India as Miss Universe held in Cyprus. She won the title of Miss Universe, by a unanimous vote, making a record in this beauty contest. She got the highest individual score in any category in the history of the Miss Universe contest.
Lara Dutta is the second Indian to win the highest global beauty contest. Sushmita Sen is the first Indian to get the Miss Universe crown in 1994. Not only this, but Lara Dutta was also the winner of Best National Costume and Best Swimsuit in this beauty pageant.
The final round that made her winner
During the final question-answer round, each of the top three contestants was asked the same question: “Right now, there is a protest that has been staged in outside the stadium posing pageants as an affront to women. Convince them that they are wrong.”
Lara Dutta gave the beautiful reply that made her the winner of the crown. She said,
“Pageants like Miss Universe give us young women a platform to foray in the fields that we want to and forge ahead, be it entrepreneurship, be it the armed forces, be it politics. It gives us a platform to voice our choices and opinions and it makes us strong and independent that we are today.”
Other achievements and works
The achievement of Lara Dutta didn’t stop here. She was also elected as Miss Grand Slam 2000, hosted by the pageants portal Global Beauties. She is the first Indian winner to get this title.
After the crown of Miss Universe, she became the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund in 2001. While taking this appointment, she said,
“Celebrities with the power to affect their impressionable minds, therefore, have a moral responsibility to impart positive messages. I am committed to using any influence I may have to do just that as a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund.”
Lara Dutta also made her career as Bollywood actress and producer. She received several accolades including Filmfare awards. The beauty diva has been one of the most stylish actresses in the Hindi film industry. She is a strong supporter of Me Too Movement in India. Lara Dutta married eminent tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi in 2010.
Belonging to Jamshedpur town of Jharkhand, Priyanka Chopra finished as the Miss India first runner-up 2000. Later, she brought home the crown of Miss World 2000 and Miss World Continental Beauty – Asia and Oceania held in London. Priyanka was only 18 years old when she became Miss World, surpassing 95 other talented contestants from different countries. What a great achievement at this tender age!
She received the crown of Miss World form her predecessor Yukta Mookhey who was also from India. It was an emotional moment when Yukta Mukhey, Miss World 1999 handed over the crown to her successor Priyanka Chopra. Priyanka Chopra is the fifth Miss world and the second consecutive winner from her country.
Confidence, attitude and beauty became key to success
The perfect combination of beauty, confidence and brains made Priyanka Chopra win this prestigious title. However, an interesting incident occurred during one of the elimination rounds when she was asked to name the most successful woman living today and why.
The confident Priyanka Chopra answered this way:
“There are a lot of people I admire, but one of the most admirable people is Mother Teresa, who has been so compassionate, considerate and kind.”
Priyanka Chopra deserves appreciations for this answer. But she missed the word ‘living’ as she had to take the name of a living person. Mother Teresa had passed away in 1997. However, her confidence, positive attitude and beauty impressed the judges and audience and she became successful to take home the crown.
Awards and social causes
After winning Miss World crown, she pursued a highly successful career in Bollywood. She received several awards including the National Film Award and five Filmfare Awards. The Indian government honoured her with the Padma Shri Award in 2016. She also worked in Hollywood thriller series and comedies.
Priyanka Chopra has been working with UNICEF since 2006. UNICEF appointed her Goodwill Ambassador for Child in 2010 and 2016. She also works for the environment and women’s rights, gender equality, gender pay gap and feminism. The beauty queen married American singer and actor Nick Jonas.
Diya Mirza was the second runner up Femina Miss India 2000. She created history when she won Miss Asia Pacific 2000 held in Manila. Diya Mirza made a hat-trick of India winning the International beauty pageants in the same year; Lara Dutta won Miss Universe and Priyanka Chopra Miss World. This was really a pride moment for India as for the first time a nation had picked up all three major beauty contests in a single year.
Diya Mirza is the third Indian to win this title. Before that, Zeenat Aman in 1970 and Tara Anne Fonseca in 1973 were the winners of Miss Asia Pacific title. She also made a career in Hindi film industry and won many film awards.
Besides this, Diya Mirza has been involved in community services. She has been working with Cancer Patients Aid Association, Child Right for You (CRY) and People for Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA). The beauty diva became UN Environment’s goodwill ambassador for India on two occasions. Thereafter, she won the Green Award IIFA for spreading awareness about environmental issues.
India was held in high esteem in 1994 also when two beauty queens brought the nation the most highly international beauty titles in the same year. These ladies are Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai. Sushmita Sen won the prestigious title of Miss Universe 1994 whereas, Aishwarya Rai won the title of Miss World in the same year.
In this way, we can say that our country is flourished with women having beauty, intellect, wisdom and confidence. They have earned name and fame; made the country feel proud and become the source of inspiration to thousands of women not only for their beauty but also for their social services.
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