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Posted at: Mar 13, 2018, 12:56 AM; last updated: Mar 13, 2018, 12:56 AM (IST)

Here’s how to look like Miss India…

… through Sathya Saran’s latest book
Here’s how to look like Miss India…
Sathya Saran

Manpriya Singh

It’s hard not to get carried away, cut to the chase and straightaway pop up, ‘so how to look like Miss India?’ More of a secret desire, less of a question, but above all an apt, self-explanatory and resonating title of Sathya Saran’s latest book—How To Look Like Miss India. As a former editor of a magazine that organizes Miss India contests, it is only fair that she was requested to do the book; to share the interesting trivia, the backstage goings-on and a peep into the world of beauty pageants. “The book is not about how to be Miss India, it is about how to look like Miss India,” she makes the crucial distinction during a short stay in Chandigarh while on her way to Kangra recently. 

Apart from an insightful peep into what makes a Miss India look the way she does, the book is a practical guide that brings in inputs from experts like Wendell Rodricks, Ambika Pillai, Dr Jamuna Pai, Mickey Contractor and many others.

“The book also tackles the issues of self-image, confidence, which are all very important to look good,’ she shares, somewhere admitting that how, “We felt at some point we were guilty of promoting the impossible and stereotypical standards of beauty.” She adds, “That’s why the book talks about how to have toned bodies irrespective of your size, how to have good skin irrespective of your colour.” It is common knowledge how girls across the country have fallen victims to achieve a certain size. “Even the chaperons were badly hit,” shares the story of one of the women she happened to know, who would rush to the bathroom after every meal. 

What’s holding women back?

We might have graduated from women’s rights to more encompassing women empowerment, but what the women of today are battling the most is the progression itself. “We are battling the fact that we have progressed. For some reason, men believe that women’s development is not good for them. They think it’s me versus you, whereas it’s always ‘us’.” 

A word on the Miss Indias 

There you go—so what are they like? As a person and in real life? She understands the interest and the inquisitiveness that surrounds the women who have especially made a mark in international beauty pageants. 

Sushmita Sen: She will connect with you instantly and has the quality of making you feel like you are the most important person in her life at that time. Even if she sees you after a year, she’ll remember your name. 

Aishwarya Rai: A very bright woman. She knows her subject. She was signed up for the Longines brand within seconds by virtue of how she talks and how she conducts herself, and not just on the basis of her looks. 

Lara Dutta: She is a very balanced person, always in control of the situation. I was at her home once when her daughter had just come back from school; she was tending to so many things at the same time effortlessly. 

In the pipeline

Coming up is an anthology on marriage, Knot For Keeps, which she has edited. “It’s modern marriage discussed by 14 different and prominent writers.” And then there’s the writer’s conclave, which is quite close to her heart. “It is called The Spaces Between Words—The Unfestival.”


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