Sushmita Sen has inspired millions of Indian girls ever since she won the Miss Universe title 22 years ago in 1994. Not only is she bold, beautiful and confident, she is also a badass feminist. There are many reasons to love her, yet many things we don’t know about her.
“When she won the Miss Universe title in 1994 and became the first Indian woman to do so.”
When she fearlessly adopted a girl at the young age of 25, even going as far as fighting the Bombay High court for her right to do so.
When she decided to stay unmarried and didn’t need a man to complete her, neither considered marriage a prerequisite for having children.
When, despite studying in a Hindi medium school till the age of 16, she worked on her English speaking skills and won the Miss India title at 17, and Miss Universe at 18.
When she decided to be brave and compete against Aishwarya Rai, even though everyone thought Rai would win. Her courage to face her toughest opponent still inspires women in India till date.
When she showed the world that one doesn’t need a designer outfit to win Miss Universe. Belonging to a modest background, Sushmita had her final gown stitched from a local tailor shop in Meena Bazar. Her gloves were made from socks!
When she stuck by her ideals and started a foundation for the education of girl children. It’s called the I AM Foundation.
When she showed us what humility is by visiting Mother Teresa after her Miss Universe win.
When she called India a country where love is the essence of life because of its multiculturalism and showed us that beautiful people are also intelligent!
When she went ahead and fought society again by adopting another girl child, Alisah, in 2010. Alisah and Renee are now the apple of Sush’s eye.
When she called marriage a celebration of choice, not something she would do just to be socially acceptable.
When she called age just a number and proved that her beauty is timeless.
When her final answer at the Miss Universe pageant won over everyone’s hearts and taught us what compassion is about. “The origin of a child is a mother, a women. She shows a men what sharing, caring and loving is all about. That is the essence of women.”
And lastly, for always being who she is. A diva!