Beauty pageants are perceived as the contests that set unrealistic standards for women about their bodies and how they look. Contrary to this belief, the pageant winners have defined the term ‘beauty’ in its truest form via such platforms.

To them, beauty is all about owning confidence like a badass queen, representing their culture on a global platform, and promoting the idea of making the world a better place to live in. Their final answers in beauty pageants are proof.

So, I have compiled a list of answers these 10 beauty queens gave in final rounds of their respective pageants which made them win the crown.

Let’s recall:

1. Sushmita Sen- Miss Universe 1994


Question: What for you is the essence of being a woman?

Just being a woman is a gift of God which all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, who is a woman. She shows a man what caring, sharing and loving is all about. That’s the essence of being a woman.

-Sushmita Sen

2. Aishwarya Rai- Miss World 1994


Question: What qualities a Miss World should embody?

The Miss Worlds that we have had up to date, have been proof enough that they have had compassion. Compassion for the underprivileged and not only for the people who have status and stature. We have had people, who can look beyond the barriers that man has set up – of nationalities and colour. We have to look beyond those and that would make a true Miss World. A true person, a real person.

-Aishwarya Rai

3. Priyanka Chopra- Miss World 2000


Question: Who do you think is the most successful woman living today and why?

There are a lot of people I admire, but one of the most admirable people is Mother Teresa, who has been so compassionate, considerate and kind…giving up her life for people in India, to give up everything she ever had to make other people lives’ beautiful and to bring a smile on people’s face.

-Priyanka Chopra

4. Lara Dutta- Miss Universe 2000


Question: Right now, there is a protest going on right outside here calling the Miss Universe Pageant disrespectful of women. Convince them they are wrong.

I think pageants like the Miss Universe pageant gives us young women a platform to foray into the fields that we want to and forge ahead, be it entrepreneurship, be it the armed forces, be it politics. It gives us a platform to voice our choices and opinions and makes us strong, independent that we are today.

-Lara Dutta

5. Namrata Shirodkar- Miss India 1993


Question: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Chicken. If there was no chicken, there would be no egg.

-Namrata Shirodkar

6. Diana Hayden- Miss World 1997


Question: Why do you want to become Miss World?

I draw inspiration from a famous writer and poet, William Butler Yeats, who once wrote – ‘In Dreams Begin Responsibilities’. Well, this title is that dream and the responsibility it brings, I cherish that…in a small way, I could make a difference and help the dreams of others.

-Diana Hayden

7. Manushi Chillar- Miss World 2017


Question: Which profession should receive the highest salary and why?

Since I’m very close to my mother, I think a mother deserves love and respect, I don’t think it’s just about salary but about love and respect you give to someone and I think my mom has always been the biggest inspiration in my life and all mothers they sacrifice so much for their kids. So I think the profession of highest respect and salary should be that of a mother.

-Manushi Chillar

8. Adline Castelino- Miss Diva Universe 2020

Question: Does religion unite or divide people?

Religion definitely unites people. It has values that bring people together. People believing in the same things come together and stay in harmony, but what divides us, is us. Humans divide each other. Religion doesn’t divide anyone. When I first came here from Kuwait, I really loved the fact that in India, all religions coexist in harmony. We celebrate Diwali, Christmas, Eid all together and what a beautiful scene that is, that we can stay together, respect each other’s beliefs and be in harmony…and we can progress with each other forward to the future.

-Adline Castelino

9. Harnaaz Sandhu- Miss Universe 2021

India Today

Question: What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?

Well, I think the biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique and that’s what makes you beautiful, stop comparing yourselves with others, and let’s talk about more important things that’s happening worldwide. I think this is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourself, because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own [life]. I believe in myself and that’s why I’m standing here today.

-Harnaaz Sandhu

10. Sini Sadanand Shetty- Miss India 2022

Miss India Org/Femina Miss India

Question: Should abortion be a woman’s fundamental right? Explain why?

A few days ago, a news flashed up on mobile phones about abortion being illegal in USA. I was outraged. I think people out here everyone was outraged and heartbroken about it. I believe that a woman’s body is her choice to make what she wants to do with it. I do not believe with the fact that people out there could pass out a rule saying that abortion is illegal even in the case of life-changing surgery or victims of rape. I believe that it’s a showcase of gender inequality and if this place becomes as equal for women and men, this world would be a better place for all of us to live.

-Sini Sadanand Shetty

Keep shining QUEENS!