“The essence of being a woman is being a mother.”
These were the words of Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen that probably won her the hearts of the judges and the most coveted title “Miss Universe”. Her brief yet powerful answer inspired and moved many people from all round the globe who were all eyes on the biggest, grandest and most prestigious beauty pageant the world has ever known.
Sushmita was born to a Bengali family in Hyderabad, India. She was able to finish secondary education but never continued on to pursue tertiary education. Her father was part of the Air Force serving as the Wing Commander while her mother was a jeweller who owned a Dubai-based jewelry store. She has a brother and a sister.
Despite her historic and celebrated answer in the pageant, she did not marry though she was rumored to be in a relationship with some significant men. However, this did not stop her from being a mother even not by blood. In the year 2000, she adopted a baby girl whom she named Renee. Some protested about this mainly because she was single and viewed as not fit for being a mother. Fortunately, the High Court of India denied the appeal and allowed her to adopt Renee. In 2010, she once again adopted another baby girl named Alisah.
Sushmita did not only stun the whole world with her Indian beauty, she also made history as being the first Indian woman ever to win Miss Universe. During her time, Miss Universe was held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, Philippines in the year 1994. She was the 43rd woman crowned as the Miss Universe following the reign of Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico. The gorgeous lady who came after her was Chelsi Smith from the United States of America.
After completing her reign as the prettiest woman in the world, she went on doing films in Bollywood, which in fact produces more films than Hollywood every year. She starred in many films that became massive hits in their country. She was also praised for her brilliant execution of her female-oriented roles in some the films she was a part of. She, in fact, even won acting awards in India.
She may not even know it but she also served as a huge inspiration for Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2010 and Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-up Venus Raj who also had some Indian blood running through her veins. Venus was mocked in her childhood because of her dark-colored skin. Little did she know that one day it would be an asset that would make her stand out. Despite the all the insults, she learned how to be confident in her own skin with Sushmita being an inspiration.
Being Miss Universe is not as superficial as being physically attractive and having a sexy body. It is more of being confident and at the same time being intelligent. Miss Universe is patronized every year not only because we want to support each of our own countries, but more importantly to celebrate womanhood and the many faces of true beauty from all around the world. It can even be as moving as being a source of inspiration to other women just like how Venus found strength in Sushmita.