Former Miss Universe Lara Dutta honored at Miss Diva 2020 for completing 20 years in pageantry

25 Feb 2020 | Angelique Reyes

Miss Universe 2000 was hosted on 12th May 2000 at the Eleftheria Indoor Hall in Nicosia, Cyprus where Lara Dutta represented India and was crowned the new Miss Universe by Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana as her successor at the end of the event. It was the second win for India after Sushmita Sen grabbed the title in 1994.

Lara Dutta was born to an Anglo-Indian mother Jennifer Dutta (Jennifer Maureen Storey) who was also a beauty queen who participated in Miss India 1967. She has graduated with a degree in economics and minor in communication from the University of Mumbai. Lara speaks fluent English and Hindi but can also speak Punjabi and Kannada.


Former Miss Universe Lara Dutta honored at Miss Diva 2020 for completing 20 years in pageantry


Lara Dutta was not new to the pageantry when she entered the Miss Universe pageant as she won the annual Gladrags Megamodel India competition in 1995. Her winning at the Gladrags Megamodel India 1995, earned her the right to enter Miss Intercontinental 1997 and she was crowned Miss Intercontinental 1997 by the end of the event finale. She also participated in Femina Miss India 2000 where she was adjudged the first runner-up and earned the title Femina Miss India Universe.

Lara Dutta was exceptional during the Miss Universe 2000 pageant as she achieved the highest score in the swimsuit competition and her final interview score was the highest individual score in any category in the history of the Miss Universe contest; her interview saw a majority of the judges giving her the maximum 9.99 marks. Along with the award for Best Swimsuit, the diva also won the ‘Best in National Costume’ as well. The diva still holds the record of highest earned score in the history of the Miss Universe pageant. Prior to Lara, Carolina Gomez Miss Colombia 1994 earned 9.987 in the evening gown competition but Lara was scored 9.954.


Miss Diva Universe 2000 Lara Dutta


What makes the diva stand out is the question and answer round where she answered the question asked to her with utter confidence, determination and clear mind. The question that was asked to the diva was, “Right now outside a group of people are protesting against the Miss Universe pageant calling it disrespectful to women; convince them they're wrong”

The diva answered this question, “I think pageants, like the Miss Universe pageant, gives us young women a platform to foray into the fields that we want to and forge ahead. Be it entrepreneurship, be it in the armed forces, be it politics. It gives us a platform to voice our choices and opinions and makes us strong and independent that we are today."  Lara Dutta was also asked about the female politicians of India on how they are different from the male politicians. She responded by saying that female politicians have a certain amount of sensitivity.


Miss Universe 2000 winner Lara Dutta


Lara Dutta was appointed as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFA) Goodwill Ambassador in 2001. Dutta stated that - "Celebrities with the power to affect their impressionable minds therefore have a moral responsibility to impart positive messages. I am committed to using any influence I may have to do just that as a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)".

Lara went onto make her career in Bollywood film industry and made her debut with film “Andaaz” alongside Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar. She is married to Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupati. They have a daughter Saira Bhupati who was born on 20th January 2012.


Miss Diva 2020 for completing 20 years in pageantry


Lara Dutta is not only a queen herself but she has taken up the role of guiding and mentoring the future models in India. She recently served as the mentor for LIVA Miss Diva 2020 and guided the contestants with quick tips and techniques to ace the competition. She stated, “It's exciting to be a part of this journey in finding the perfect representative who is the Indian face of beauty, who possesses elegance, confidence, poise and intelligence. This journey has always been close to my heart and I hope this season is the one that brings us that exceptional girl who will bring the Miss Universe crown back to India”. The pageant was hosted on 22nd February 2020 in Mumbai where Adline Castelino who was crowned by the outgoing titleholder Vartika Singh.

The diva who is admired for her positive approach to things and confidence was honored at the Miss Diva 2020 finale for completing her 20 years as a Beauty queen by the Miss Diva Organization. She walked on stage like a queen with her Miss Universe crown and Sash to accept the honor by friend-actor Anil Kapoor. While accepting the honor, Lara expressed her happiness with a heartfelt message that “Nobody is going to remember how you looked, what gown you wore, what makeup you had on, what jewelry you had on, or whether your nails were painted of not but they will remember, how you treated them. It’s how you treat people, That’s the legacy you leave behind.”


Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta honored at Miss Diva 2020


Lara Dutta Bhupati is now foraying into entrepreneurship by launching her very own beauty brand called Arias in 2019, in collaboration with leading dermatologist Dr Geetanjali Shetty. The name of the brand seems like an anagram of her daughter’s name Saira. Arias is a complete skin care brand catering to the various skincare needs of women. The brand is a culmination of Lara’s rich experiences as an actress, model, mother and an entrepreneur.  Lara Dutta remarked, “Since my pageant days, I have been keenly following the trends of skin care that has shaped up the general attitude of women towards their own skin. Through Arias, I aspire to bring women closer to their own skin, prioritizing its care and embracing its true beauty. With Arias, I wish to drive the cause of beauty at its very essence. I hope Arias will inspire women to focus on their skin care, and celebrate their inherent beauty.”

The model-actress-entrepreneur is very active in yoga and offers several videos on YouTube. While she was pregnant, she offered she launched her own DVD which consisted of prenatal routines and meditation techniques. She is regarded as one of the stylist celebrities in the industry who is also known for her sense of humor and talent for writing. She has been a vocal supporter of #MeToo movement in India. She stated, “This generation of women have become more vocal, and they are empowering each other. I cannot stress enough about how essential it is to have a sisterhood, to support other women that are speaking up. Be unafraid and unapologetic about the stand that you take.”