“Beauty pageants are not only about looking pretty, it’s also about personal development”: Nagma Shrestha speaks about Miss Universe Nepal 2020

07 Jul 2020 | Angelique Reyes

It was announced on 11th July 2020 by Miss Universe Nepal organization that that the coronation of the next representative of Nepal at Miss Universe i.e., at Miss Universe 2020 stage will be held virtually keeping the social distancing and the proper safety of the people involved in mind. Miss Nepal Universe 2017 Nagma Shrestha is the new national director of Miss Universe Nepal and had informed Ma Nepali that Miss Universe Nepal 2020 app is being developed and will be available in the app store and Google play store by mid-July.

The queen also mentioned that the delegates will be selected via application itself and the divas will have to register themselves from the same app. After the registration and selection, the diva will go through online training and workshops for the pageant while the finale even will also be live-streamed. This time there are no minimum weight and height requirements and transgender women can also participate which was a decision everyone applauded. In a recent interview, Nagma Shrestha spoke about why is the pageant being held amidst the pandemic and why it’s important to make an international beauty pageant inclusive.


Miss Universe Nepal 2020 Ma Nepali Nagma Shrestha Beauty Pageants Nepal


Nagma shared that she was crowned Miss Universe Nepal 2017 and felt like the pageant needs more recognition in the country than it already has because it is considered as the mother of all pageants. She mentioned that Nepal was surly sending its representatives to Miss Universe stage but she felt like a separate pageant would give the aspiring candidates a direct platform to showcase their potential and that’s how a separate pageant for Miss Universe Nepal came into play and she is the founder of it along with CG Corp Global. Nagma mentioned that the organization was excited to host the first grand Miss Universe Nepal but due to the pandemic they decided to switch to the grand virtual coronation.

Talking about the application that is now the whole and sole way of applying for the competition, Nagma stated that the organization wanted to go beyond and evolve from the websites and that’s how they introduced an app for the competition but since there is no way one can conduct the standard way of choosing the delegate, the organization decided to go all virtual for the Miss Universe Nepal 2020 pageant. She mentioned, “Going virtual will be a unique experience and it will also help pageantry to evolve. There are going to be difficulties but we are trying to minimize the problems by making sure that we can deliver a next-level application and the progress we have made in developing the application is going great as well.”

Nagma also commented on the life long debate of beauty pageants being criticized for not being inclusive. She stated that Miss Universe Nepal from this year will be an independent pageant and the organization has tried to be inclusive following the guidelines set by Miss Universe Organization. She explained that any women who are of age 18 to 28 can participate. There are no height and weight requirements and trans women are more than welcome to participate at Miss Universe Nepal. She mentioned that it’s not necessary for the delegates to speak fluent English to participate and the organization is also trying to give opportunities to people living outside of Nepal as well. Many Non-residential Nepalis can’t participate in beauty pageants in Nepal. Those aspirants who live outside Nepal can also be a part of Miss Universe Nepal 2020.


Nagma Shrestha speaks about Miss Universe Nepal 2020


The founder of Miss Universe Nepal and former queen Nagma stated that Miss Universe Nepal will hold the same rounds during the pageant just like Miss Universe including swimsuit round, the evening gown as well as the question-answer round. Within those rounds, we have the freedom to go creative. The organization is named as ‘Ma Nepali’ and they expect the delegates to embrace their Nepali culture and highlight the importance of being a Nepali in their event. The beauty queen also commented on the long on-going debate about how the beauty pageants always judge women based on their physical appearance. Nagma mentioned that people should exactly know what goes on a pageant before commenting on how they are judged. Beauty pageants are about the over all development of a delegate who is responsible to represent a specific country. “Beauty pageants are not only about looking pretty, it’s also about personal development. Beauty pageants allow different people to interact with each other helping them to learn from each other. Likewise, it helps in the personality development of the participants and these beauty pageants empower the women who is representing not only themselves but the country,” she stated.

Nagma mentioned that internationally celebrated beauty pageant mentor, Jonas Gaffud, who had formally trained pageant winners like Miss World 2013 Megan Young, will also be a part of the team as a consultant helping in the training of the contestants. The queen mentioned that the organization is trying their level best to provide the delegates with the best facilities so that they perform their best at the competition. Discussing about the motto of Miss Universe, ‘confidently beautiful’, Nagma stated that Miss universe Nepal is focusing on ‘brave, bold, and beautiful’ qualities for selecting a delegate. She stated that it’s not about looks anymore but being kind, wise, and having the willpower to be able to achieve anything.