It was a proud moment for the entire nation, when a 22-year old Lara Dutta was crowned ‘Miss Universe’ on May 12, 2000. She was the second Indian contestant to win the beauty pageant after Sushmita Sen in 1994.
Two decades later, the actress recently revisited that iconic moment with five throwback pictures from her photo collection. Perfecting summing her journey from Miss India to Miss World with these clicks, she wrote on her Instagram page, “20 years to the day! May 12, 2000, Nicosia, Cyprus. What a wonderful gift to receive from the universe! One I’m eternally grateful for.”
Billion Dreams Were Resting On Lara’s Shoulders When She Participated In The Beauty Pageant
“At that time being 21-years-old, there’s a tremendous amount of nervousness and pressure on you since billion of dreams are resting on your shoulder because you want to bring the crown back home. But, it didn’t matter what the result was, the only thing matters is each day putting your best foot forward & making the most of the opportunity and experience and it kind of worked for me and not wanting just the end prize,” the former beauty queen recently told Times of India in an interview.
When Lara Dutta Shared Her Most Unforgettable Memory From The Year 2000
“There’s not one but two unforgettable memories from the year 2000. One, where all three of us (she, Priyanka Chopra and Dia Mirza) won our respective titles in India and after that on a global platform. These two moments are still fresh in my memory and they will never fade away because the experience is something, I hold very close to my heart. I’m certain I’m going to cherish it throughout my life,” Lara recalled in one of her recent interviews.
Did You Know This?
Besides the ‘Best National Costume’ award, Lara had also bagged the ‘Best Swimsuit’ award at the beauty pageant. Here’s a picture of the actress looking stunning in a pink bikini for the swimsuit round.
Lara Dutta’s Winning Answer
During the Q & A session, she was asked, “Right now outside a group of people are protesting against the Miss Universe pageant calling it disrespectful to women; convince them they’re wrong.”
The actress responded by saying that she believed beauty pageants were a platform for women to voice their opinions and help them enter the field they wanted to enter, be it entrepreneurship, the armed forces, politics, and so forth. She also added that beauty pageants made women the strong, independent individuals they are today because of all the help they give women.
However, Lara Doesn’t Consider Her Miss Universe Title As The Biggest Win
In a recent interview, the actress was quoted as saying, “I never felt that my greatest achievement in life was only that I won Miss Universe… No, not at all, it was always what’s next for Lara?”