Confident, formidable and self-driven, Suman Rao may be exquisitely described in many ways. She has come a long way (as far as her career is concerned) and she is not afraid to embrace the new challenging world that awaits her. From struggle to success and beyond- Suman effortlessly presents a taste of the future with her newest endeavours! Here is a conversation between her and The Lifestyle Journalist – about her preparation for the international pageant, her future plans and how it has been a whirlwind year in her career! From winning the crown of Fbb Colours Femina Miss India World 2019, Suman is now a self-willed woman and nothing has ever been served on a platter for her, she concurs. It has never been easy. However, she is not the one to get lost in the crowd! She is a gem in the boisterous world of modelling. She managed to make a smooth transition from being the girl next-door to a talented young girl representing her country all around the world.
How does it feel to be crowned as Fbb Colors Femina Miss India world 2019?
It feels incredible to be crowned as Miss India World because very few get this opportunity to represent their country at a global platform and make their country proud. I feel blessed!
What was the best thing about being a part of Miss India contest?
Winning it of course! But honestly, there cannot be a better platform than Miss India for one’s personal and professional growth. I have evolved as a person, met the who’s who of the industry in this journey and it’s truly enlightening.
How did you prepare for the pageant?
I spent about two years completely dedicated to groom myself. I took up modelling; I needed the exposure to work on my confidence. I also participated in a local pageant to get an idea but trust me the real deal was of a different league. I wonder sometimes, is this for real!
What was your childhood like?
I grew up with two brothers so you can imagine (One older and one younger)! We share a great bond together. I think I am privileged to have had such great companionship. I am not going to deny that I haven’t taken complete advantage of being the only daughter/sister in the house.
You were pursuing chartered accountancy. What made you turn to this industry?
I wouldn’t say that going for Miss India was a childhood dream; it was more of a revelation to me. I got intrigued after Manushi Chillar won, so I researched well and found an inclination towards it since I hadn’t explored it. I knew I had the potential but I had to work on myself. I haven’t left chartered accountancy by the way. I have to complete that as well.
Were your parents supportive of the choice?
It did come as a surprise to them since I was pursuing chartered accountancy and this is a far cry from that. But once I explained my plan they were on board to this journey with me.
Walk us through your initial days in Mumbai?
I was born in Rajasthan but my family is settled in Mumbai. I have lived here since I was one year old. So I am not an outsider you see!
How would you sum up your journey?
I would call it a roller coaster ride- full of ups and downs, successes and failures and tons of learning. I believe that as long as I have the thirst to keep learning, I will keep growing.
What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever gotten?
Million dollar advice! Never go to bed with any make up on! Clean every bit of it if you want to keep your skin healthy.
What did you want to be while growing up?
I loved to dance and was a performer throughout my school days so while growing up; I aspired to become a professional dancer.
What does wining this title mean to you?
This title has brought with it tons of responsibilities. Young girls look up to beauty pageant winners. I wish to set a good example for the present and the coming generation. I am here because I believed in myself and not tied down by the society’s norms and I want every woman to similarly believe in her and in their dreams, as the power lie in their hands.
Is acting on the cards next?
Right now only Miss World is on my cards! But yes, I would love to give it a good shot. I am a complete movie buff so why not!
What, for you, is the best thing about your profession?
With the crown comes immense respect and I feel deeply humbled with this experience.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
I’ve always looked up to my parents for their hard work and dedication that they have put in, in bringing up their 3 children and for always being a strong support system to the entire family. I would always want to be like them – motivated and unstoppable!
What were the biggest challenges you faced?
My life honestly has been a blessing. My parents have been my biggest support system and I wouldn’t have been here if it hadn’t been for their constant support and motivation. It was tough when I was trying to balance studies with my modelling career but nothing that I couldn’t have managed, thanks to my family’s support.
Is there a beauty tip that you follow religiously?
Yes! Drink lots of water.
What made modelling a significant part of your life?
My love for the ramp. I just love the overall experience.
If you had to describe your journey in one sentence, what would that be?
Full of surprises, lifelong friendships and great memories.
What, qualities, according to you are necessary to sustain in modelling world?
Consistency, focus and patience are some of the qualities which are necessary to sustain in this world, but it would be the same in any other profession as well.
What are the stereotypes about Indians that you’d like to change?
Women not being allowed to step out of their households is an issue in my community that I want to change and I am working towards that goal. Even if I change the mindset of a single household it would make a difference to the future of their kids and next generation.
What is your greatest indulgence?
How do you deal with setbacks?
Failures are part of your growing process and I take it with stride. I don’t give up and make sure I have learnt something from the experience.
Do you have a signature style?
I prefer comfort clothing, effortless and understated. But I do keep up with the trends.
A fashion trend you are currently obsessed with?
All denim look
An overused hashtag you’d never use
OOTD(Outfit of the day)
What trait annoys you the most?
What is your next holiday destination?
I hope I get some time for a vacation after Miss World! It’s been a while really. But maybe a trip to explore the North-East India. That’s definitely on my bucket list!
Your favourite scent
For now, it’s Skin by Titan
Your idea of romance
Something filmy, I guess! I have no idea. I haven’t had time for romance yet.
Your spirit animal
It has to be a bird!
A turn off
A perfect date
Romantic date by the beach
Marriage or live in
Favourite holiday destination
I love my mom’s hand cooked food and my favourite is the traditional Kadi Bati of Rajasthan.
The most adventurous thing you did last year
Took a break from Chartered Accounting and dived into pageantry. Nothing can beat that!
Friendship, as cliched as it may sound
A fashion item you would never wear
Too soon I think, there is so much I am yet to experiment with.
Your pamper fix
Quick step out ritual
A little prayer
What is your signature look?
Poker straight hair with minimalist make up.
Go to red carpet look
It really takes a village to pull off that look. I play to my strengths.
Long slit or off shoulder snug fitted gown.
What makes you feel alive?
Doing what I love and staying true to myself.
Your biggest splurge
Not guilty. I am not a spend thrift at all!
One superpower you wish to have
I would love to be able to read people’s minds.
One celebrity you would like to go on a date with
One celebrity you would like to go on a date with
A millennial you would like to swap life with for a day?
Kusha Kapila! Love her content. How does she even come up with it!
The newest word added to your dictionary?
It’s an abbreviation: TBH (To Be Honest)!
A word that makes you cringe when you hear it?
LOL, it can’t be spoken out loud!
What is on your Netflix queue?
A song title to describe your last relationship?
Not been in one yet!
Favourite online store?
Venue Courtesy – Pooja Jain