Femina Miss India 2014 finalist Aarpita Kaur, who grew up in Dubai, is determined to set right a few misconceptions about beauty pageants.
“We girls don’t randomly break out into fights… but there’s a grain of truth about our eating habits,” said Kaur in an interview with tabloid!.
The 20-year-old Indian expatriate from the UAE is in Sri Lanka undergoing rigorous training with 24 other beauty queen hopefuls and is vying to clinch the titles such as Miss Photogenic and Miss Multimedia.
Kaur, who studied at Our Own English School and is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Manipal University, beat 1,500 participants in a nationwide hunt launched in India. According to her, she had to undergo several rounds of auditions.
“It was never easy. My aunt in Bengaluru saw an advertisement and suggested I apply. And I got selected. I even auditioned over Skype at first and then flew down to India for the rest of the rounds… Now, we have been put on a strict diet rich in proteins and salads depending on our body type. Even when I am lounging in the hotel, I am super poised and careful about how I carry myself,” said Kaur.
The youngster says her parents are fully behind her in her quest to be crowned pageant queen. Her father, who’s employed with a food company in Dubai, has taken it upon himself to actively promote her.
When tabloid! caught up with her over the phone in Sri Lanka on Tuesday afternoon, her day had begun with a 5am wake-up call. While some of the contestants had to face a culinary challenge (“they were sent to the kitchen at the hotel we are staying and asked to prepare a meal”), Kaur was in the batch which involved getting a spa treatment.
“I got lucky today… But the knowledge that I am here with 24 other beautiful girls makes you realise that the most challenging part is to stand out… everybody may just look at our three-minute video-clips of us on the catwalk, but there’s a lot of hard work gone behind it,” said Kaur.
Traditionally, the winner of Femina Miss India represents her country in the global contest Miss World, while the first runner up competes in Miss Earth and the second runner up represents India in Miss Supranational.
Born in Bengaluru, Kaur’s family moved to Dubai 14 years ago.
“It has still not sunk in that I am a part of Femina Miss India. It’s been my dream to be a part of this franchise… but I am not going to ask for world peace. Aren’t people tired of hearing that?” said Kaur with a laugh. While she may shy away from cliched beauty pageant responses, she hopes that her voice will be heard far and loud if she wins the crown.
“I used to do modelling in Dubai but I don’t want to be the one who just models for clothes. Beauty Queens can be a voice of millions of people. We can take up a cause and be heard,” said Kaur. So any plans to graduate to Bollywood? In the past, Femina Miss India winners such as Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have courted Bollywood after their spectacular wins.
“I haven’t really thought of Bollywood. But if an opportunity arises, I will happily try it out. I don’t like ‘what ifs’ in my life,” said Kaur.
Aarpita Kaur has created a Facebook page to garner support for the tile of Miss Multimedia. You could help her win by voting for her on www.facebook.com/ArpitaKaurDubai.