After 21 years, she introduced house the Miss Universe crown, turning into solely the third Indian contestant to win the title in 2021. Now, as Harnaaz Sandhu prepares to crown her successor at a glitzy occasion on Saturday in New Orleans, she will proudly look again on an unforgettable tenure.
“I went from representing my metropolis to representing the state of Punjab, then India, my nation and now your complete universe,” Sandhu, who hails from Chandigarh, mentioned earlier. Nationwide. She was topped the seventieth Miss Universe in December 2021 in Israel.
One of many longest-running and most-watched magnificence pageants on the planet, Miss Universe is broadcast in 165 nations and seen by greater than half a billion individuals annually.
Like earlier winners, Sandhu moved to New York, the place the Miss Universe Group is headquartered, quickly after successful.
Impressed by her gynecologist mom, Sandhu has been competing for the reason that early days when she gained the Miss Chandigarh 2017 pageant. She has particularly labored on menstrual equality, serving to to cut back stigma, affect coverage and promote entry to hygiene merchandise.
To this finish, she has visited 25 cities in 9 nations to assist unfold consciousness. She has given greater than 50 speeches at occasions world wide, from India to the Philippines and South Africa.
Throughout a visit to India in December, Sandhu launched the Menstrual Capital Coalition, which incorporates 11 nonprofits, with the objective of reaching 5 million ladies in 200 places by 2025.
Coping with trolls
In April final yr, Sandhu grew to become the goal of on-line trolls after she walked the runway at Lakme Vogue Week and a few individuals known as her “fats”.
Sandhu responded later, whereas revealing that she has celiac illness, which impacts a sufferer’s weight-reduction plan, that means they have to keep away from meals that include gluten, resembling bread.
“I am a kind of individuals who was first bullied as a result of ‘she’s too skinny’ and now they’re bullying me saying ‘she’s fats,'” she mentioned a couple of days later, including: “I am alone of the courageous and assured ladies who imagine even when I am fats, even when I am skinny, it is my physique, I like myself.”
The web bullying additionally prompted former Miss Universe Catriona Grey to talk out in assist of Sandhu.
“Think about being a 21-year-old lady who achieved her dream of turning into Miss Universe and experiencing it,” mentioned Grey, who’s from the Philippines and gained the crown in 2018. “If I used to be 21 and in that state, I can solely think about how it could have an effect on me.”
“We have to proceed to talk out towards physique shaming. Weight isn’t even a part of who we’re,” she mentioned. “I actually wish to ship a message that this sort of negativity does not deserve a spot.”
Being Miss Universe gave Sandhu entry to glamorous occasions world wide in addition to excessive profile performances.
She stole the present at Miss South Africa in August, the place Ndavi Nokeri gained the crown, and can symbolize her nation at Miss Universe on Saturday. Two weeks later, Sandhu was in India to crown his successor Divita Rai at a lavish occasion in Mumbai.
Sandhu has additionally been noticed at New York Vogue Week in September and the Gotham Awards in November, the place she mingled with Hollywood’s elite.
She additionally stopped by in August The Day by day Present with Trevor Noah educate the host some Bollywood dance strikes and share her Miss Universe journey.
“For me, Miss Universe was by no means about trying fairly and sporting glitter and glitter,” Sandhu instructed Noah, who hosted his ultimate present on the long-running present in December.
“For me, it is a platform the place you’ll be able to speak in regards to the stuff you wish to do. And I additionally needed to go away a legacy and inform ladies world wide that ‘If I can do it, you are able to do it’.”
The Bollywood dream is alive
Sandhu has all the time needed to be an actress and has appeared in a number of Punjabi movies and TV reveals, however desires of turning into a Bollywood star.
“It is all the time been my dream to get right into a Bollywood movie,” she instructed Noam throughout her efficiency.
In his interview with Nationwide after successful, she revealed her hopes of turning into a world star.
“I am positively an actress, I have been on TV for the final 5 years and I would love to do appearing – it could possibly be world,” she mentioned.
“My imaginative and prescient of appearing is basically completely different. I wish to be an actress who breaks stereotypes about ladies and what they are often when given the possibility by selecting robust characters.”
Nevertheless, she added that she prefers to “flow”.
“Life is unpredictable, so you must plan much less. Go deep, breathe and keep in mind that every little thing occurs for a cause,” she mentioned. “I’ve taken that confidence with me in all places I have been to this point, and I feel that is what’s made me unstoppable.”
Up to date: January 10, 2023 at 15:59