Prior to the victory of Harnaaz Sandhu at Miss Universe 2021, India’s status as a beauty pageant superpower is on a shaky ground. The last time the country won the Miss Universe crown, Harnaaz was still a 2-month-old baby and unlike in the 90s, India is no longer the sash that other countries feared. The numbers are far from being desirable: from 2000 up until 2019, Indian beauty queens failed to make it to the semis of Miss Universe half of the time.

Harnaaz Sandhu’s victory singlehandedly brought back India to its glorious era.  It’s a turning point that will benefit the country’s future representatives at the pageant. Harnaaz is not only beautiful but very intelligent and she represents the new breed of beauty queens that are strong and confident. Her advocacies and programs in various parts of the world are all about uplifting and supporting women. Unfortunately, she had her own share of critics and haters, but she dealt the criticisms and hate with grace and strength. The positive impact of Harnaaz, not only for the women in her country but also for the women across the world, is truly timeless.