Why Miss World is more famous in India than Miss Universe?

Pageants in India back in 90’s was still an untouched entity. In fact most people weren’t even aware about the basic difference between Miss World and Miss Universe, even today also people often get confused with both pageant being the same. It was the year 1992 when Madhu Sapre from India made a strong mark in the Miss Universe contest by placing 3rd overall. When she came back to India, she discussed with Pradeep Guha, then Marketing head of Times, about the technicality of the pageant and how it works. She gave the actual picture of how the representatives from other countries come there with strong preparation and how the process of selecting girls and winners was entirely different. The management took call and changed the format to suit the requirement of international pageants. As a result, in 1994 we got our first Miss Universe by the courtesy of Sushmita Sen and second Miss World after a long time by the courtesy of Aishwarya Rai.

Also Read: Miss World vs Miss Universe.

Sushmita Sen Aishwarya Rai

Although India won Miss Universe and Miss World crown simultaneously in 1994, why Miss World attained more fame than Miss Universe? Why most participants of pageant say that there dream is to become Miss World? Why term ‘Miss World’ became synonymous to the quotient of beauty in India? Here are few of the major reasons focusing on the fact about why Miss World today is given more attention than Miss Universe, although both are equally famous across the globe.

Reita Faria, Miss World 1966 from India
Reita Faria, Miss World 1966 from India
  1. Reita Faria was the first ever Indian as well as Asian to win Miss World contest in 1966. Although her fame wasn’t cashed out very well due to lack of proper media coverage, the name as first Indian to win Miss World always remained with her. So the general leaning toward this title was easy to connect.
  2. In an interview with Pradeep Guha and Sathya Saran by reddif, it was revealed the winners of Miss Universe are pretty much like their employee who stay with them throughout their reign. However, with Miss World it was a different case. The winner flies in and out of country as and when required. Hence, when Aishwarya and Sushmita won their title, Sushmita’s connection was completely cut off from India and was with Miss Universe Organisation for a very long time before she came to India, that too for a short period. While Aishwarya Rai was very much in India a lot of times, and she also signed big banners movies which connected her immediately with media. Hence, the terminology ‘Miss World’ became synonymous to ‘Aishwarya Rai’, who was then speculated as the future actress to watch out.
    Aishwarya Rai Iruver
    Aishwarya Rai in her first movie-Iruver

    Also Read: India’s achievement at Miss World Contest

  3. Talking about facial beauty, Aishwarya became a treat to watch in films and media appearances. Her demi goddess features and blue eyes won hearts of audience as well as celebrities, which made her Miss World title even more visible to the public through various media promotion.Miss World winners from India
  4. From 1994 to 2000, in the period of 7 years, India won 4 Miss World titles. This was huge and especially Priyanka Chopra winning back to back Miss World title in 2000, which many though was not going to be possible at all. This created a national headline which overshadowed the win of Lara Dutta in terms of media coverage.
  5. The success of Aishwarya and Priyanka in film industry touched the global heights compared to decent film career of Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta. This again created the feeling that Miss World are generally more successful.

While today both pageants operate in completely different fashion then what they used to be in 90s, both are still the strongest rival of each others and are looked forward by participants as their ultimate dream to win these two crowns.

Input Credits: Pooja Sharma, Miss TGPC Elite 2016.