Manushi Chhillar – Beyond the Stereotypes

Manushi Chhillar
Manushi Chhillar

It is one of those rare moments when one starts to type ‘Manu’ on the Google search bar and Google suggests Manushi Chhillar rather than Machester United – arguably the most famous football club. Ever since Manushi Chhillar, the 20 years old hailing from Rohtak, Haryana has been crowned with the coveted Miss World 2017 title; she has taken the Internet and the globe by storm. She has won the title 17 years after Priyanka Chopra, who brought the beauty pageant title back home in 2000, making Manushi the sixth Indian to win this prestigious beauty pageant.

The journey of Manushi Chhillar has been of a lot of peaks. She had taken part in Femina Miss India 2017 competition representing the state of Haryana. She was crowned Miss Photogenic and later won the competition too, subsequently becoming eligible to represent India in the Miss World 2017 competition. Talking about her prowess beyond being the winner of the beauty pageant, there are things you need to know about her.

Who is Manushi Chhillar?

  • Her father, Dr. Mitra Basu Chhillar, is a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation
  • Her mother, Dr. Neelam Chhillar, is an associate professor and department head of neurochemistry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences
  • Being from a family of doctors, she has been studying medicine and aspires to be a cardiac surgeon.
  • She plans to open non-profit hospitals in rural areas and is a strong advocate of menstrual hygiene.
  • Manushi Chillar is a trained classical singer.
  • She has a penchant for outdoor sports and is passionate about adventure sports like Scuba Diving, Snorkelling and bungee jumping.
  • The beauty with brains is a trained Kuchipudi dancer and trained under legendary dancers like Raja and Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy.
  • Apart from dancing and singing, she has also attended National School of Drama.

A beauty queen’s journey to the Miss World crown is something that goes beyond looking good and being able to answer the questions. The journey is incredibly hectic. Apart from attending rehearsals and walking the ramp, it takes dealing with media and embracing the culture of the host country, which was China this year. In the preparation of the Miss World contest, contestants also need to focus on charitable events. Manushi Chhillar spent a lot of time in rallying for causes that involve children outside and also attended events like the Charity Auction at Miss World 2017. Amid this grueling journey, Manushi also managed to take out ample time for fitness.

She paved her way to the semi-finals through beauty with a purpose (formerly, Miss World Scholarship). The award belongs to the contestant with the most relevant and important charity project in her nation. Her visionary goals to open charitable hospitals in rural areas and promote menstrual hygiene led her to semi-finals. We believe this represents a shift in our perception of beauty.  Physical appearance is a superficial attribute of a person. Emphasis should be on the person and not the external beauty which dazzles.

It is quite ironic that people identify the beauty of women with her looks. It is the color of the skin and the shape of her body which impresses people. And only these aspects are celebrated whenever a bright girl like Manushi wins a beauty pageant for India. Apart from her ethereal beauty; one needs to consider aspects like her intelligence, interests, her forte in different art forms. It is necessary to consider her altruist aspirations in order to appreciate her as a whole. This would give the due respect to the efforts put in by her in achieving this huge feat.

Looking at the stories of the journey and career of beauty pageant winners from India, like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta to name a few; inevitably it comes to mind that sooner if not later Manushi Chhillar might also be seen as an actor in Bollywood. But Ms. Chhillar, who identifies herself as a dreamer and achiever on Twitter, is beyond the confined boundaries of stereotypes. She has a very diverse range of skillsets under her belt to pursue a life beyond any stereotypes. She may go out to prove all the pundits wrong. Those who say that Bollywood is the last (and only) destination for the beauty pageant winners can be wrong.

Owing to her gamut talents and myriad ambitions, one can say that the world is vast for her. She is not going to stop dreaming. It is quite evident when she said, “When you cease to dream, you cease to live.”


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