When Manushi Chhillar won the Miss World crown in 2017, she found her way onto headlines and glossy covers, which swiftly thrust her into the spotlight. For the daughter of doctors, who even began pursuing a career in medicine herself, it was as if the world had shifted on its axis. The pageant winner's journey from medicine to modelling has been on the up and up. After her 2017 win, Manushi modelled for multiple brands, thereafter becoming a household name. In 2022, she made her Bollywood debut with Prithviraj alongside Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar. Outside of the beauty queen arena, Manushi's most recent win is her announcement as the New Global Brand Ambassador for Estee Lauder. After previously featuring in campaigns for the beauty brand, she now joins Estée Lauder's global talent which Ana de Armas, Karlie Kloss and Yang Mi. In conversation with NDTV Swirlster, Manushi Chhillar discussed how beauty is changing, the impact of pageantry and empowering the female population.
"True beauty goes beyond just external appearance"
As seen from the likes of Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta, the journey of global stage to movie set is charted territory in Bollywood. But it greatly shapes the way an individual approaches their acting path. On how being a pageant queen changed her perspective on beauty, Manushi said, "As a pageant queen, my approach to beauty is rooted in the belief that while physical appearance is an important aspect of pageantry, it's not the only thing that matters. The pageant experience taught me that true beauty comes from within, and that a confident and positive attitude can make all the difference in how one presents themselves." While her learnings about inner beauty were pivotal, so were those on presentation. "During my pageant days, I learned to take care of my skin, hair, and body to present the best version of myself on stage. However, I also realized that true beauty goes beyond just external appearance. I learned to embrace my flaws and imperfections and focus on my inner qualities, such as kindness, empathy, and positivity. My background as a pageant queen has taught me that beauty is a holistic concept which involves physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It's about being comfortable and confident in your own skin and radiating a positive energy that uplifts those around you. This is the approach to beauty that I carry with me today, and it's one that I hope to share with others," said Manushi.
"I plan to support women in any way possible"
Stepping into the shoes of a Global Brand Ambassador for an international brand as massive as Estee Lauder is an incredible opportunity, which Manushi acknowledges completely. Not just that; the actress also plans to utilise the platform to its greatest potential. On the changes she aims to bring, Manushi says, "As the Global Brand Ambassador for Estee Lauder, my focus will be on empowering women and driving positive social change in India. Being a woman who believes in a strong female force, I feel it is important to align myself with a brand that is committed to advancing women. Through various initiatives, I plan to support women in any way possible." Manushi isn't simply grateful for the position she holds, it has also provided inspiration for the actress. "Estee Lauder was founded by the visionary woman Mrs. Estée Lauder, who proved anything was possible with hard work, passion, and dedication. I aim to follow in her footsteps and inspire women around the world to believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference. I hope to bring about a positive change in the lives of women in India and inspire others to do the same," she continues.
"Skincare is not just about looking good"
Manushi's experience in pageantry and acting have shaped her beauty opinions to a great extent. After all, physical appearance and charisma plays a key role in the pageant circuit. With that background, her insight on the transformative nature of the beauty sphere is interesting. Manushi comments on the shift she has seen in the Indian beauty world, saying, "In the Indian beauty context, one of the shifts that I have noticed is the increase in awareness of the importance of skincare. People are educating themselves on the importance of following a proper AM and PM skincare routine, which includes cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and using sunscreen." For her, skincare isn't simply about vanity. Manushi continues, "It is essential to make people understand that skincare is not just about looking good, but it is also about taking care of one's skin health. By making skincare a priority, people can prevent skin problems and maintain healthy and radiant skin."Comments