Suman Rao from Rajasthan was crowned the Femina Miss India World 2019 beauty pageant during a star-studded ceremony at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Mumbai.
Shivani Jadhav from Chhattisgarh clinched the Femina Miss Grand India 2019 title and Shreya Shanker from Bihar won the Miss India United Continents 2019 title during the grand finale of the beauty pageant on Saturday.
Suman will represent India at Miss World 2019 in Thailand.
“When you get yourself determined towards a particular goal in life, every single nerve and fibre of your body starts working into that direction for a victorious journey,” the 20-year-old college student said in an interview.
The prestigious event was adjudged by Bollywood choreographer Remo D’Souza alongside actresses Huma Qureshi and Chitrangada Singh, fashion designer Falguni Shane Peacocka and Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri among others.
During the event, film stars including Katrina Kaif, Vicky Kaushal and Mouni Roy enthralled the audience with their dance performances.
The event was hosted by the Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Manish Paul.
The beauty contest came under intense scrutiny after a collage featuring all 30 participants was published in a newspaper, RT news channel reported. The composite image sparked a heated online diversity debate over the girls who all looked remarkably similar with fair skin and dark hair.
Organisers of the pageant were slammed for appearing to prefer a single look and beauty standard. Some critics went so far as to say that the women resembled ‘clones’ rather than representatives of the nation’s ethnically diverse beauty.
Skin-tone in particular has been a hot topic among women in India, as some females attempt to reverse the historical preference for fairer skin and counteract society’s emphasis on whitening cosmetic procedures.
These days, beauty pageants try to focus more on participants’ intelligence and talent in an apparent effort to steer away from the traditional judging and ranking of physical attributes – which has been labelled anti-feminist. However, the contests still face criticism internationally for their objectification of women.
Recently, India’s Miss Charming 2017, Garima Yadav, received praise for choosing to pursue a career in the army over progressing to the next stage of the pageant.
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