Beauty pageants have long suffered from stigma, with many around the world claiming that they can be sexist and portray an unfair standard for impressionable young people. But many that are involved in the world of pageantry disagree with a lot of the claims that are levelled against these competitions. These days, it is said that there is a much larger focus on the charity work and positivity that young women who take part in these shows bring to the world.
In our latest episode of Let’s Talk More, Romail Gulzar spoke to the newly crowned Miss Surrey 2021, Dhwani Kothari, who shed some light on the work that she has done, the challenges she has faced during her life, and how those challenges have shaped her path. Dhwani moved to the UK from India with her family when she was just a child. She said: “After we moved here, my mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She had surgery and it was a very difficult time for my family. Because I was very young, nobody really explained what was happening, but as I grew up they eventually started to let me know more. Once I understood, I wanted to do more to help other people that have brain tumours, and their families. I knew that I wanted to do something about this and as I grew up, I focused my efforts on this via my charity work.”
When Dhwani was asked about her views on the stigma that follows these pageants, she said: “I don’t think that beauty pageants are out-of-date. I think the main cause of beauty pageants has changed and now impacts loads of children all around the world in a very advantageous way. Some people do have their negative views on beauty pageants, but Miss World—Miss England: the heart and soul of these pageants are based on ‘Beauty with a Purpose’. This is what Julia Morley started and it’s mainly charity work. That just shows that even though you have a beautiful face, you also have a beautiful heart.”
Dhwani supports the Brain Tumour Charity with her charity work, using her platform of Miss Surrey 2021. The finals of Miss England were expected to take place in Coventry on the 24th June, but now the event has been pushed back to the 27th August due to pandemic restrictions.
Watch the full interview with Dhwani above on our YouTube channel.
Find out more about the Miss World pageant’s Beauty with a Purpose charity.
By Sam Ellison