Meet Mohini Sharma – she’s ambitious and incredibly successful; and the founder of Mrs India Inc and now Indian Femme. Read on for the full interview
You are on a mission to identify the unseen potential possessed by women. Can you tell us how you decided to start Mrs India Inc and now India Femme?
We all have a pinch of patriotism and nation love in us. In my case I was lucky enough to have it matched with my passion too. Beauty pageants and fashion shows have always been my first love. But the fact that India has not won the Mrs. World crown for the last 22 years has always bothered me. The confidence I had in Indian experts and Indian beauty inspired me to take the lead with the intention of getting the Mrs. World crown back home.
My first step, in order to find the perfect Mrs. World winner from India, was to make each woman believe in herself. This involved a major transformation that each one had to go through and Mrs. India Inc. works every year with each participant, not with the intention of preparing them for the Mrs. India crown but for the Mrs. World platform. We are soon going to witness our next Mrs. World from India.
Indian Femme– I am embarking on a mission to re-define beauty, to shatter the prejudices and biases surrounding beauty. I envision a future where beauty is inclusive, it is all-encompassing; it recognises the radiance of inner strength and celebrates the brilliance of a woman’s vulnerability, her convictions, beliefs and values.
We have introduced Indian Femme as a pageant, where each one of us is special, each one of us is beautiful. I aim to empower every single woman who has been considered not on a par with others because of her looks or age or sexuality. I plan to create an equal platform for all women– married, unmarried or single, transgender, physically or mentally special. With Indian Femme I promise to re-define beauty and change the future of pageantry in the world.
What was your biggest stroke of luck since the launch of Mrs India?
It was when my delegate Navdeep Kaur (Mrs. India World 2021) won the title of Best National Costume at Mrs. World 2021. We had gone intending to win the crown but who knew that winning the best national costume title would give us almost the same fulfilment, achievement and fame that winning the crown would get? Navdeep got overnight fame after winning the best costume title and that you could say was one of the biggest strokes of luck for us at Mrs. India in the last three seasons.
What’s been the most picture-perfect moment in your life?
As it is always said, life is not perfect but Instagram posts and pictures can always be. The Mrs. India Inc. tagline, Beyond Perfection’ itself says that life is all about imperfection. I think I still have to come across my picture-perfect moment in life but one of the memorable ones is when my parents were proud of me at the successful completion of Mrs. India Inc. season 1.
What, according to you, is an essential part of a beauty pageant?
There are not just one or two things but a lot of things that are essential as part of a beauty pageant, but if you ask me personally I would say Passion and Fire to conquer the world is the most important factor that enhances every other trait required to participate in a beauty pageant. You can be the most beautiful person in a room but if you do not have the confidence to talk and mingle with others in that same room, you can easily be forgotten or passed over as just another beauty. Passion is like the main central jewel in the crown of personality traits without which you cannot have an attractive crown to adorn. Especially in today’s world of opportunities, beauty pageants are evolving in more ways than one. Your personality is more important than just looking beautiful.
How important are beauty pageants in today’s world?
They are as important as any other competition that you see, taking place around the world. A beauty pageant is no longer just a platform on which to see beautiful girls walking around in glamorous outfits, it’s a platform to see beautiful and smart women from different walks of life coming together and sharing a stage where you see them walking and talking with confidence and probably living their dreams of being on this stage where they are not just someone’s daughter, mother, wife or partner but they have their own individuality and this stage and competition is all about them and their personality. In today’s world from the time we are born, I think our whole future is decided and we get caught in a rat race so quickly that we start forgetting about ourselves and our aspirations. A beauty pageant is that hope we are giving to women from everywhere, without any inhibitions of age, caste, colour, qualifications, etc, to get a chance to live their dreams and also to inspire thousands of girls that they can dream and aspire to be part of anything they set their heart on. Also, conducting such healthy competitions always helps to provide great examples for future generations so that they always see competitions in a good light.
What is the hardest part about winning, and what is the hardest part about losing?
As it’s said, maintenance is more important than acquisition – similarly keeping up the great work is more important and more difficult than the winning. Once you win, the expectations of everyone rise and the winner is subject to the pressure of performing better each day. The hardest part of losing is to accept the loss and believe in the future. Pageants have to be seen as one of the milestones and not the only plan for a life, which most of the participants mistakenly do. One has to believe in the universe and accept the loss as a learning experience. The hardest truth is that the one who is completely dependent on winning for her future plans and growth unfortunately ends up losing. Basically, never forget that winning and losing are part of life and do not define our whole life.
Who is your role model?
I have always admired Priyanka Chopra: she is an inspiration and role model to a lot of us females in the beauty pageant industry. It’s commendable how, from being just an 18-year-old girl winning the most coveted title in beauty (Miss World) she is now one of the most powerful and influential women in the world. Her journey has been inspiring and has opened many doors on the global platform for Indians.
What does it mean to be a modern woman?
It means a lot of things and also stands for a lot of things. A modern woman or today’s woman is a force to be reckoned with. We are no longer suppressed or ‘a poor little thing’ anymore. We have a voice, an opinion (a strong one, mind you) and are now slowly finding ways to build our lives and fulfil our dreams by ourselves and we will not stand quietly by if not given the equal opportunities and respect in a society that we deserve.
What is the biggest challenge young girls face today?
There are a lot of challenges that young girls face today and probably will keep facing, but for them, I think, the challenge is finding a place for themselves in this competitive world, with the internet becoming so powerful, where everything is available at your fingertips and social media has become one of the most important parts of our existence. It becomes a little difficult for their young minds to differentiate between their real-life and the ‘reel life.’ With every prying eye on them they can get carried away into believing everything on the net is real and Google is actually god (haha) and also forget about living their lives in the real world with real things to deal with and enjoy! We adults, forget these things many times :), so who do we blame? !
What message do you have for all the women in the country?
Believe in yourself and your dreams! Do not doubt yourself, don’t shy away from living for yourself and your dreams, and if one of your dreams is to be a beauty queen, don’t hesitate. My team and I will help you to achieve that dream of yours, just take that step forward.
Learn more: https://www.indianfemme.org/