Achievements

Lights, camera, glamour! Apeejay Nerul student is Miss Teen India

Having won the International Glamour Project’s ‘Miss Teen India’ title, Mehak dreams of becoming a businesswoman and making India an attractive investment destination

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Seeing beautiful faces at beauty pageants at a star-studded stage, one tends to wonder what goes behind these shows that appear on television. How do the participants look so glamorous and confident all the time? And what goes into their diet, preparation and training?

A class 12 student at Apeejay School, Nerul, Mehak Sharma has recently won The International Glamour Project’s Miss Teen India, a beauty pageant that was judged by eminent personalities such as Former Miss India Celina Jaitley, Former Mrs. India Aditi Govitrikar, hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki, and author Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai. Along with bagging the first prize, Sharma won the title of ‘Glamorous Public Speaker’ at the event, and she would soon be appearing at an International beauty pageant in Miami.

How do you feel about the achievement?

It is more than just a pageant crown and I see it as the first step towards achieving my dreams. This was a pan-India contest with a finalist panel of 23 participants. As I won this pageant, I would be going to the United States for a global pageant as the next step. I feel that it is all about representing our country and it is a big responsibility.

What could be the criteria that a person is judged upon?

It is the uniqueness, confidence, speech and appearance. There is a lot of training that goes behind appearing on-stage, and it could be as intense as walking the ramp at 5 or 6 AM in the morning. I can say that it reforms you as a person, and teaches you to communicate effectively.

The most common myth about beauty pageants, according to you?  

Beauty pageants are viewed by people in many different ways. Some think that it is all about beauty and no brains, and is largely driven by a person’s physical make-up and appearance. It is clearly more than that, and I can assure you that each person who reaches this stage is not intellectually down-weight. They have fire and passion that’s why they are there.

Has the school environment changed for you after winning the pageant? How has the school helped you?

A lot of people at school have now begun to recognise me. I receive applause from fellow students and my classmates and I feel very obliged. The most important part of the journey has been to bring a smile to my parents’ faces. I recall my mother who was the first person to shout out in excitement from the back of the room, as I won. The school has been very supportive of my endeavour. I often find myself trying to balance between academia and pageantry.

What is your current focus?

I am planning to appear for SAT examinations this year in October and December. Plus, I am preparing for my Class 12 Boards. I want to get admission into an Ivy League college, which is why having a good score is very important for me right now. I would like to develop my business model once I reach college and I would be open to new experiences.

Your aspiration going forward?

Beauty pageants such as these provide a platform to several young women to model and act. I too have done a few shoots for some brands and start-ups, and I have passion for beauty pageants. However, my aim is to present a set of business ideas through pageants to attract global investors who could add to our country’s economy. I want to engage in an ecosystem where I could connect urban and rural India by recognising smaller businesses and getting their foods and services to larger areas. I have thought deeply about why smaller businesses aren’t able to reach a larger consumer base and the answer to this is because they need assistance with functions such as marketing and finance. They also lag behind due to their location or accessibility, and if there was a firm that could connect the dots, we could look at creating a market monopoly.

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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