Flashback to 1966: Reita Faria, a young medical student from Mumbai, created history by becoming the first Indian to be crowned Miss World. However, it took almost twenty-six years for another Indian to win at an international beauty pageant. The turning point for the Femina Miss India pageant was when Madhu Sapre was selected the second runner-up at the Miss Universe contest in 1992. After she almost missed the Miss Universe crown that year, a lot more planning was put into the competition. And so began the complex industry of “How to be a Miss India 101.”
Evidently it works. In 1994, we witnessed the twin triumphs of Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai, who were crowned Miss Universe and Miss World, respectively. Since then, there have been an array of winsome beauties from India winning international titles: Diana Hayden, Miss World 1997, Yukta Mookhey, Miss World 1999, Lara Dutta, Miss Universe 2000, Priyanka Chopra, Miss World 2000, and Diya Mirza, who scored a hat-trick for India, by winning the Miss Asia-Pacific 2000 title.
What do all these ladies have in common (apart from the short-lived desire for world peace and ending poverty for the duration of the pageant) is the fact that every single one has made a B line for Bollywood (hey maybe that’s why they call it a “B” line.)