“Creating” the New Miss Nepal

-Anubhuti Poudyal

With the recent success in the Miss World pageant, every Nepali girl’s dream to win the title has been further renewed. How about competing this time? Shweta Singh, CEO of Hidden Treasures, talks about all that goes into making the event happen and how it is life-changing to many ladies, in more than one way.

As of May 2, 2014, we will have the new Miss Nepal. After much work and selection, the final day will test the ladies and some of them will represent Nepal in international pageants. What goes into “making” these ladies? Who takes care of the process of changing a regular girl into an international celebrity? These transformations might look over-night to many of us who enjoy the outside view of the event, but to those who are working from the inside, it is months of hard work and planning.

The grooming session of the contestants start as early as March and goes on until May. The six weeks of their lives teach them more than any other training they’d probably receive in their lives, mainly because it focuses on a rather holistic development of individuals.

The look
The Hidden Treasure Fanta Miss Nepal is a beauty pageant, so one of the criteria is obviously the look. “We want women to look presentable. Though there are other categories they need to do well in, we need women to explore their personality and represent the country in the best possible way,” says Shweta Singh.

There was a time when beauty queens were required to be 5’2” tall in order to participate in a Miss Nepal pageant. Today, the cut off height is 5’4”; this is one of the many examples of how competitive these international pageants have become. But that doesn’t mean women should feel intimidated to participate. One reason these pageants exist is because they want regular girls to live their international dream. It is indeed a lifetime opportunity.

Sakil Kunwar talks to the ladies about their looks. It comes down to what suits the women. They need to know what works, and Sakil is there to assist that transition from interest in makeup to actual professional changes, possible only through practice and expert advice. “Girls enjoy their session with Sakil. Let’s just say he suggests when and who should avoid blue eye shadows,” laughs Shweta.

Jasmine Fitness Center at UWTC officially takes care of the Miss Nepal contestants. Each girl is given a definite plan they need to follow and an overall daily workout plan. With time, women learn to take care of themselves very well.
“Their customized plan for each woman is extremely beneficial. Even after the Miss Nepal contest, it is important for the winner to work really hard before she enters international pageants. Jasmine Fitness Center does just that,” shares Shweta.

More than looks
The word “grooming” doesn’t end with physical beauty. It goes deep into mental and emotional stability. For that, there are sessions which help in developing the other side of Miss Nepal.

“Miss Nepal is not about beauty alone. It is about intelligent women who are ambitious and smart enough to fulfill their goals. So, we have attitude development, current affairs, and soul searching sessions among other things,” shares Shweta.

What do these sessions do then?
They help women gain confidence and learn more about themselves, their dreams, and their being. While the grooming session has the eventual goal of making the women connect to the crowd and judges more easily, it is not all that it does. It believes in developing 20 girls into mature individuals who can prosper and excel in all stages of their lives.

“Ranjit Acharya of Prisma takes sessions on positive thinking, which girls every year seem to enjoy a lot,” says Shweta Singh.
Shweta herself takes care of these sessions where women are talked to and honed in social skills and communication. They are also informed about their responsibility once they win the title. All in all, it is all about developing women who are confident and smart enough to explore and present the woman that she actually is.

Choreography and photography
From walking to talking to posing, Miss Nepal needs to know all there is about the glamour world. Keeping that in mind, Rachana Sharma Gurung helps the women learn about the choreography and stage presentation. They are groomed to shine in front of the camera by photographer Raj Bhai Suwal.

Women and six weeks
Do women change in these six weeks then? “Yes, they definitely do. I recommend girls to participate in Miss Nepal even if they think they might not win the title. It is an extraordinary experience to be among the best in the field,” says Shweta Singh.
There are teams and individuals working day and night to help women develop their wings and fly into the international arena. Though there can be only one winner, there are opportunities within the pageant that goes beyond making it to the top. It is an amazing journey of beautiful young ladies, their camaraderie in six weeks and overall visible change in physical appearance, personality, and mental stamina that come from continuous work by the best in the field. Miss Nepal might be a day’s event, but to hundreds working for it, it is months of sweat, and to ladies who are participating in it, it is once in a lifetime opportunity to excel. Most of them usually do.
“Look at all the past contestants. Most of them are working in all fields from the glamour world to corporate setting. They are successful individuals,” shares Shweta Singh.

The ultimate goal of Miss Nepal, it seems, is to create batches of complete women. We look forward to witnessing the transformation this year as well.

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