There are four major international beauty pageants for women across the world. These are Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International, and Miss Earth. Beauty pageants, whether on an international level or a small level, play an important role in boosting women’s confidence because these pageants are not only about physical beauty but also reflect your inner beauty.
These pageants play a critical role in women’s empowerment. Well, some people consider it just a competition where some girls are showing their bodies and doing ramp walks on the stage, while others consider it a strong medium of development for women as individuals. It gives them confidence and develops their social skills.
Let us take you to some details about two of the four major international beauty pageants, Miss World and Miss Universe, and their roles.
Difference between Miss World and Miss Universe
The major difference between the Miss World and Miss Universe beauty pageants is that they are owned by two different organizations. They are held at different times of the year, so they do not conflict with each other.
Although both pageants evaluate the beauty of the contestants from across the globe, The criteria for selection in both cases are different.
In the Indian context, Femina Miss India sends its winners to the Miss World Pageant, while Miss Diva is a separate pageant that sends its winners to the Miss Universe Pageant.
Miss World is a UK-based international beauty pageant that was created in 1951 by Eric Morley. It is the oldest of the four international beauty pageants, while Miss World was created in 1952. It is a US-based organization that advocates humanitarian issues through Beauty with a Purpose.
Miss World is run by Miss World Limited, while Miss Universe is run by the Miss Universe Organisation.
List of Miss World Winners from India
Miss World, the oldest-running beauty pageant, is the most popular among the four international beauty pageants. India has won this beauty pageant six times. Here is the complete list of the winners of Miss World India.
1- Reita Faria (1966)
Reita Faria was born on August 23, 1943, to Goan parents in Matunga, Mumbai. She was the first Asian woman to win an international beauty pageant. In 1966, she won the Miss World Beauty Pageant and became the first Indian to accomplish it by beating contestants from 51 countries.
After winning the pageant, she received various offers to act in films and many modeling and acting contracts. But she refused them all. Instead of modeling, she wanted to pursue her career as a doctor.
She completed her M.B.B.S. from Grant Medical College and went to London for further studies. She married her mentor, David Powell. In 1973, the couple shifted to Dublin, where she started her medical practice.
2- Aishwarya Rai (1994)
Miss World 1994 was held in Sun City, South Africa. India’s blue-eyed beauty, Aishwarya Rai, was the winner of the 44th edition of the Miss World Pageant.
Aishwarya won this beauty pageant by beating contestants from 87 countries. Aishwarya Rai is a big name in Bollywood; she is known for her marvelous beauty and acting. She has a successful career in Hindi films. She made her Bollywood debut in 1997 with the romantic comedy Aur Pyar Ho Gaya opposite Bobby Deol.
On April 20, 2007, she got married to Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan.
3- Diana Hayden (1997)
The third Miss World from India was Diana Hayden, who was born on May 1, 1973, in Hyderabad. Diana tried her hand at acting but didn’t have much success.
Apart from films, she participated in Bigg Boss season 2 and grabbed the 6th position there. The beauty also judged Miss World 2005, and Femina Miss India 2009, and hosted beauty pageants like Wisen Cricketers of the Century 2000 and Miss Europe 2002.
In 2013, Diana Hayden got married to American businessman Collin Dick. They have three children, including twins in 2018.
4- Yukta Mookhey (1999)
Yukta Mookhey was the fourth Indian to win the title of Miss World. She was born on October 7, 1979, in Bangalore, India, into a Sindhi family.
Before winning the Miss World title in 1999, she was crowned Femina Miss India World in the same year. After her tenure as Miss World, she involved herself in various social and charitable activities. Yukta also worked in several movies and made her Bollywood debut in 2002 with the film Pyasa, opposite Aftab Shivdasani.
She is a civic activist who has raised her voice against illegal child labor. She is a firm human rights activist who has partnered with many NGOs to guide young girls.
5- Priyanka Chopra (2002)
Priyanka Chopra became the fourth Indian to win the Miss World title in 2002. She is a successful actress, model, singer, producer, and philanthropist.
Priyanka is one of the highest-paid and most successful actresses. She received many awards for her work in the films, including two national film awards and five Filmfare awards. In 2016, the government of India awarded her the Padma Shri, the 4th highest civilian award in the country.
Apart from her success in Bollywood, she also did well in Hollywood. She became popularly known for her role as Alex Parrish on the American TV show Quantico, which aired from 2015 to 2018.
She tied the knot with her boyfriend Nick Jonas, an American singer, in 2018 and presently lives in Los Angeles, USA, with her husband
6- Manushi Chhillar (2017)
Manushi Chhillar is the sixth Indian to win the title of Miss World so far. She was crowned with the title in 2017. In the same year, she won the title of Femina Miss India, where she represented her state, Haryana.
She was born into a Haryanvi family on May 14, 1997, in Rohtak, Haryana. Her father is Dr. Mitra Basu Chhillar, who is a scientist in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and her mother, Neelam Chhillar, is also a doctor.
Taking inspiration from her parents, she decided to pursue a career as a doctor. She got her M.B.B.S. degree from Bhagat Phool Singh Medical College, Haryana. She will make her Bollywood debut in the upcoming historical drama Prithviraj.
In 2022, Sini Shetty was crowned as Femina Miss India and now she will be representing India at the 71st Miss World. This year India will be hosting the Miss World Pageant after 27 years, last it was held in India in Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium in 1996. This year India will host the Miss World Pageant at the end of 2023 around November and December.
List of Miss Universe Winners from India
Miss Universe Beauty Pageant was created in 1952 and is the second oldest beauty pageant after Miss World.
Here is the list of the winners of the Miss World title from India so far.
1- Sushmita Sen (1994)
Sushmita Sen became the first Indian to win the title of Miss Universe in 1994. The same year, she was crowned Femina Miss India at the age of 18.
She was born into a Bengali family on November 19, 1975, in Hyderabad. Her father, Shubeer Sen, was a former wing commander in the Indian Air Force.
After winning the title of Miss Universe, she decided to further pursue her career as an actor. She made her debut in Bollywood with the film Dastak in 1996. She became successful as an actor and won many awards for her brilliant performances.
2- Lara Dutta (2000)
Lara Dutta was born on April 16, 1978, in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. In 2000, she became the second Indian to win the title of Miss Universe2000, she became the second Indian to win the title of Miss Universe. This year’s Miss World Beauty Pageant was held in Cyprus. In 1997, she was crowned Miss Intercontinental.
After winning the title of Miss Universe, she decided to pursue acting as a career. She worked on many Bollywood movies.
3- Harnaaz Sandhu (2021)
Harnaaz was born on March 3, 2000, in a Sikh family in Chandigarh, India, to Pritampal Singh Sandhu and Rabinder Kaur Sandhu. She was crowned Miss Universe on December 13, 2021, and Harnaaz won the title after 21 years and before Harnaaaz it was last won by Lara Dutta.
Harnaaz participated in many pageants in her childhood and won many of them. She won Femina Miss India Punjab in 2019 and was a semi-finalist in Femina Miss India 2019. Harnaaz also won Miss Diva Universe and she is also active in the Punjabi film industry. She acted in two Punjabi films, Yaar Diyan Poo Baran and Bai Ji Kuttange.
Indians Who won Miss World & Universe FAQs
A. Sini Shetty will be representing India in Miss World 2024.
Ans. Miss Diva Universe 2022, Divita Rai represented India in the 71st Miss Universe competition.
Ans. Armi Kuusela was the first-ever Miss Universe.
Ans. Sushmita Sen became the first Indian to win the title of Miss Universe in 1994.
Ans. In 1966, Reita Faria won the Miss World Beauty Pageant and became the first Indian Miss World.
Ans. Harnaaz Sandhu became the Miss Universe 2021 and she won the title after 21 years of Lara Dutta and made the whole country proud.
A. India hosted Miss World Pageant first time in the year 1996.