Indian medical student wins Miss World 2017 competition
It would be easy to assume that the women who enter beauty pageants are nothing but self-loving airheads. However, the most recent winner of Miss World breaks this stereotype in a pretty impressive fashion.
An Indian medical student has been crowned Miss World during a glamorous event in China on Saturday. Not only was her win prominent for breaking down the stereotypes of beauty pageant contestants, but it also made India the joint-most successful country in the competition's history.
Manushi Chhillar is the sixth Indian woman to win the infamous contest, following the footsteps that had previously been walked by the likes of Bollywood actresses Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai. Her win brings India level with Venezuela as the most successful countries in the competition, which is now in its 67th instalment.
According to the Miss World website, Chhillar, who is only 20-years-old, is a trained Indian classical dancer who enjoys painting and hopes to open a chain of non-profit hospitals in the rural areas of her country after competing in the pageant. After her win, the young woman took to her Twitter account to thank her supporters:
"Thank you, everyone, for your constant love, support, and prayers," she wrote on Twitter. "This one’s for India."
Chhillar's victory quickly became a hot talking point in her home country, with it becomes the top trending topic on social media in India after the official announcement. Manohar Lal Khattar, a minister for her home state of Haryana, was among the first to offer their congratulations to the student.
She was handed the crown by former champ, Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico, at the ceremony in the coastal city of Sanya, China. Saturday marked the return of the ceremony to Sanya, for a seventh time, with it last being held in the Southern part of Hainan Island in 2015.
The previous occasion was shrouded in controversy after officials in Hong Kong stopped Miss Canada, Anastasia Lin, from boarding her flight to Sanya, saying that she would not receive a visa. The 25-year-old claims that it was down to her stance on China's human rights record, including the persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual group of which she is a practitioner.
The Canadian also found herself in hot water last year, when the event was held in the United States. Pageant officials reportedly warned Ms. Lin about speaking to the press in the weeks before the event, warning her not to speak about human rights abuse in China. Lin did not appear in this year's event, with Canada being represented by Cynthia Menard instead.
Chhillar's victory shows that beauty pageant queens aren't just airheads with pretty faces, a point of view which many people still hold. Hopefully, with all the exposure she will now receive, and the money that will come her way, the student will go on to achieve great things in her country and be able to give back to those who are in need.