The Beauty pageant that breaks stereotypes

Brought up in the tribal village of Jharkhand, rooted in Rajasthani culture, and settled in the paradise of Goa, Mrs. Rina Jain made a decision that would bring about a big change in her life.

It all started when Rina was randomly scrolling through Facebook. She happened to see a post called the ‘International Glamour Project’. What fascinated her was that they are trying to break stereotypes. There are no conditions for age, height, waist size, etc. They focus on not only the outer glamour of the person but the inside glamour as well. Her childhood dream of participating in a pageant started to stir up within her and she decided ‘Why can’t I try my luck on this?’ Rina filled the form and the next moment she was called for an audition in Pune. 

“It requires a lot of guts and courage to participate in international pageantry. Yes, there are cultural differences and I was a bit hesitant to come forward. We are Rajasthani and no one has taken this daring step in my family. I have been brought up in Jharkhand with very less exposure” says Rina Jain, winner of Mrs. India 2021 – Season 1, crowned as Mrs. Cosmos India 2021 and Glamorous Eco Warrior by the International Glamour Project.

“In short, it was very challenging, but I made it through the auditions,” she reveals. Initially, no one understood what she was doing. However, after seeing her transformation and dedication, she started getting positive responses from society.

Women from all over India auditioned and she didn’t know whether she would get selected or not. But to her delight she did. “I paid their minimum fees and then the grooming session started. Right then, the unfortunate COVID pandemic hit us and the grooming sessions went online. We received 40 grooming sessions instead of 25 from national and international mentors,” Rina discloses.

From all over India there were 47 contestants and there was no age bar. It started right from 30 years till 57 years. Because of the pandemic, everything was organized through Zoom and Instagram. However, even though it was online, her transformation required complete total dedication, hard work, and extreme focus.

The contestants are also judged on their inner beauty, in addition to their appearance. Rina is very passionate about this and shared: “Inner beauty comes from within when you are always positive, when you want to do something not for only yourself, but for others and for society. I strongly believe that if you light a lamp for someone else, it is going to brighten your path as well. With my social work, helping other people, giving back to the society, and staying focused, I believe that I get the glow.”

Believe it or not- Rina has never participated in any pageant before. She was called once for an audition for modern warrior Gladrags Mumbai and even got shortlisted from West India. However, she couldn’t go through with it as she had responsibilities in Goa and her children were small. She is an environmentalist, author, artist, teacher, traveller and social activist. Being creative, industrious, highly adaptable, and multi-linguistic has helped her to balance a fulfilled life as a homemaker and as an entrepreneur. She’s a managing director at Stockholm Distillers and Vintners Pvt Ltd.

“I had an amazing experience with my co-participants because they were all over India and they all are empowered, ladies. They are doing so well in their own fields. I have learned a lot during this pageantry journey,” Rina says. “It’s not only working on yourself, but you have to learn to be competitive at the same time by fostering healthy competition without hurting anyone.”

Rina and four other winning contestants will be sent to different international pageants. She’ll be going to Florida USA next year to participate in Mrs. Cosmos International 2022. Soon she will get started with next-level grooming sessions to prep for the international pageant.

This beautiful pageant winner has a lovely soul as well. “I am an environmentalist and I like to be associated with wildlife, tree plantation, and the environment. I like to spend time with children and teach them at HIV orphanages. I like to give my best for children, old age women, and the environment,” she says. For her last pageantry question which was related to the betterment of the children she repeated a quote of Mahatma Gandhi that “you must become the change you want to see in the world.”

For Rina, the lockdown was one of the best learning times of her life. She revealed: “I know that I’m beautiful because I used to get compliments from the beginning, but I never realized that a pageant is not only about outer beauty but inner beauty as well.” This realization, continuous practice, workouts, diet, grooming sessions, journal writing, and working for society, made her enjoy life even more. 

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Author: Sheryl
Goa is a special place for Content Writer, Sheryl Gonsalves, with its picturesque beaches, gorgeous sunsets, rich heritage, and delicious food.

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