India’s second victory at Miss Supranational made me rethink on what is the essence of Miss Supranational. I believe that the pageant is shifting away from its usual image of just another lingerie show and is on its way to become a contest with more substance and clear mission. It looks like that in order to explain how Srinidhi Shetty of India won the Miss Supranational 2016 title, one has to see it in a perspective that welcomes the changing dynamics of the pageant.
Srinidhi came out with a killer punch when it matters the most. I believe that moment was the final question and answer portion. In my view, it seemed everyone else in the Top 5 had lost their energies while Srinidhi looked like she had just warmed up. Her answer about her experience at Miss Supranational is not really the best but it was an answer that summed up the entire affair of that evening.
Watching Srinidhi perform onstage was a bit nostalgic. It reminds me of India’s glory days when its contestants are feared and respected. A lot of critics are accusing her of being a plain beauty but that might be because they haven’t seen her in person. But for the sake of discussion, let’s say that Srinidhi is indeed a plain beauty. Still, no one can dispute about her intelligence and substance which are all trademarks of a Miss India in the not so distant past. Sadly, most pageants now have departed from the 90s where brain trumps physical beauty and that could be part of the reason why India is struggling somewhere else. Miss Supranational meanwhile, based on its 2016 results, is heading on the opposite direction. As I have said, the pageant is no longer just another lingerie show.
Being smart these days no longer assures you of a crown. Somehow, Srinidhi had resuscitated the idea that we need beauty queens with brilliant minds. The Miss Supranational 2016 pageant was jam packed with very strong delegates some of them with very strong sash weight. In the end, the one who prevailed is the one with stamina. I strongly believe that her intelligence coupled by her sunny disposition and undeterred confidence paved way towards her victory. And those qualities showed up just as the pageant neared its conclusion.
Miss Supranational had made the right choice in choosing Srinidhi. Her victory could have the impact on the next pageant year. I suppose more major pageants will join the bandwagon in choosing smarter beauty queens. Meanwhile, the Indian pageantry scene will get its much needed boost. The year 2016 will not end in another disappointment. India is still a superpower in beauty pageants and it took a smart, beautiful and confident beauty queen named Srinidhi Shetty to reinforce that idea.
Written by Ric Galvez, founder of Missosology