Sushmita Sen is not only a former Miss Universe but an inspiration to millions of women who aspire to achieve the heights of success that she has seen in her life. She is a single mother of two, a global icon, a Bollywood actress and runs a platform that searches out young talent to represent India in the Miss Earth, Miss World and Miss Universe pageants every year. 23 years later, Sushmita Sen spoke out on what “essence of a woman” means to her and why she is “attached” without being attached.
Sushmita Sen on Essence of a Woman
At the age of 18, Sushmita was able to come up with an answer to what the essence of a woman is that left judges at Miss Universe 1994 awestruck. However, looking back at her answer, she recognized that her answer might have been knowledgeable. But it had taken her 23 years to fully grasp the meaning of her own answer.
Even though she has always been a profound and deep person, the true essence of a woman is something that only experience has taught Sushmita. “It was not asking about what it is to be a woman, what are the great qualities of a woman,” said Sushmita, in an interview with KM Jessica Soho. “It’s less about what a woman can do. It’s more about what a woman is.”
As for the women who are still confused as to what the title of Miss Universe represents, Sushmita Sen has the perfect answer. “To be Miss World, for example, it’s the world, it’s the countries, you know. You have to be out of this world to be a Miss Universe,” she said. Hence, as a Miss Universe, one does not only travel the world and learn about different cultures and what inspires people from different places, but also learn to “embrace it all.”
Motherhood That Spells Women Empowerment
Sushmita Sen has also championed women empowerment by simply being a mother. She had to fight hard to obtain the custody of her first daughter, whom she adopted as a single mother. But then, years later, she faced a tougher court battle when she voiced her desire to adopt for a second time.
“Because in India, the rules said you could not adopt a daughter after a daughter. You have to adopt a son. And I wanted to adopt a daughter,” she said. However, her courage and determination persevered. And after a long wait of 10 years, Sushmita got custody of Alisah, her second daughter.
When asked why she was not attached to someone over the years, Sushmita was ready with a pun on the word “attached.” “O, I will correct that question,” Sushmita quipped. “I had been very attached (laughs out loud), just not married.”
However Sushmita, with all her grace, assured her viewers that marriage is definitely on the cards. But it has to be on her own time, since she believes that every woman is unique in their own way. And they should follow their own clock instead of caving in to societal norms.
Sushmita Sen was part of the judges’ panel in the Miss Universe 2017 in Philippines, the place where her dream came true, Times Of India reported. “I am so excited, emotional and looking forward to returning home to the Philippines after 23 years,” she wrote on Twitter before the yearly pageant. The following is the full interview and highlights of her 1994 Miss Universe journey.