With two Miss Universe winners – Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta – India spiraled into a self-imposed self doubt at the start of the 2008 drought. The low self-esteem of the nation even seeped into the mainstream media with one news anchor in a primetime program asking, “Are we no longer beautiful?” There was even a popular conspiracy theory that still many Indians subscribe to that the country was simply targeted by the cosmetic companies. They believe that the reason for having a string of semis finish and victories at Miss Universe is to lure the large Indian population to buy more cosmetics.
Of course, we all know that there are no conspiracies and that the beauty of Indian women are still one of the best in the world. What happened in 2008 until 2010 has been analyzed by Missosology and these are the excerpts of such analysis.
India has been too dependent on the weight of its sash. There was a strong sense of confidence to the point that it resulted into the lax attitude. On the way to her Miss Universe victory in 1994, Sushmita Sen was actually trained in a beauty pageant bootcamp with a plethora of trainers from gym to speech to demeanor. But when India simply landed at the semis with relative ease, the training program, which by all means quite expensive, was scaled down. India thought the sash alone can save them.
Femina Miss India failed to see the alarming signs. In 2003, when Nikita Anand failed to be in the semis, thus ending the decade long of uninterrupted semis placement for India, Femina saw it as an aberration rather than a trend. Their belief was reinforced by the 2004 inclusion of Tanushree Dutta but then the reality was, Femina was no longer producing quality delegates. The flabby Amrita Thapar in 2005 shows how Femina no longer trains their contestants in a beauty bootcamp.
Management, management and management. The Femina Miss India seems to be overwhelmed by handling all the Big4 pageants in one national finals. The quality of its Miss Universe delegates plummeted whereas it is doing well at Miss Earth and Miss World. The crowning of Ekta Choudhary and subsequently her very poor performance prompted Miss Universe to ask Sushmita Sen to create a new problem. As a newbie, Sushmita was also overwhelmed by problems associated with birth pains. Her I Am She pageant is new and the people she chose to help her were clueless how to produce quality delegates.
Now that the there is a separate pageant for Miss Universe contestants but still under the umbrella of the Femina group, India is on the right track to recovery. Shilpa Singh’s inclusion last year was thought to be a bonus for the outgoing Sushmita but the reality was Shilpa was a real strong candidate. This year, Manasi Moghe proved to the world that India is back. She was not a favorite or a front-runner from the start but she proved her critics wrong. Her Top 10 finish was unprecedented. Manasi performed way too well than expected.
With two years in the row that India ended up as a semifinalist at Miss Universe, the future is bright for the country. Expect India to give everyone else a tough fight. The Miss Universe 2014 is yet to start but it seems that the prospects are very bright for the Indian beauties.