Diana Hayden Miss World 1997: From beauty queen to a successful mentor

01 May 2020 | Camilla Suarez

Diana Hayden is an Indian actress, model, and the winner of Miss World 1997 pageant. She represented India at Miss World 1997 on 22nd November 1997 at the Plantation Club Seychelles in Baie Lazare, Seychelles. She was the third woman from India to win the title of Miss World who also won the titles of Miss swimsuit competition, and Miss Photogenic.

Diana was born in Hyderabad, Telangana in an Anglo-Indian Christian family. She attended St. Ann's High School in Secunderabad but dropped out of school in the 8th grade, due to unfortunate circumstances. She continued her studies through open schooling and correspondence and graduated from Osmania University in English. She studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

Before modelling, Diana worked for an Event management company called ‘Encore’. She then worked as a Public relations officer at BMG Crescendo where she managed careers for models Anaida and Mehnaz. After Anaida's recommendation, she filled in for the Miss India contest. After winning Miss India she proceeded to win the coveted Miss World title. She was also crowned as the "Miss World Asia and Oceania 1997" at the end of event finale of the Miss World 1997 pageant. She is the only Miss World titleholder to win three subtitles during the competition.


Diana Hayden Miss World 1997: From beauty queen to a successful mentor


In an interview, grooming expert Hemant Trivedi who trained Hayden said: "She was like a tomboy in what I call window-cleaner clothes. She was a plain Jane, heavy around the hips, with little knowledge of fashion.”

Soon after winning the title, she was named the face of the international brand L'Oreal and was also named the ambassador for Child Relief and You (CRY). She was also associated with charities Greenpeace, PETA, and the Spastic Society of India. She has supported several causes to spread awareness about cancer and HIV/AIDS. Diana was signed by the Avalon Academy in 2006 as the face of the Academy and currently serves as a celebrity Guest Lecturer for airline personnel training programs.During an online chat in 1997, the beauty queen also upheld the importance of caring for environment. “If you are not conscious of your environment, you are NOT going to have any people left, let alone riches/poverty," Hayden said. Diana also builds homes globally with Habitat for Humanity International.

After her winning the title, Diana faced some backlash for her skin tone and stated that she is proud of her exotic brown skin colour. She stated, “With regards to me winning the Miss World 1997, it’s a pity and shame, that when you win the biggest and most respected beauty pageant in the world, you get criticised and put down as opposed to being appreciated and respected for bringing more accolades back home and further appreciation of our Indian brown exotic beauty.”


Diana Hayden Miss World 1997


Diana made her Bollywood debut with a minute role in the film titled 'Tehzeeb' in 2003. After which, she played the lead role in 'Ab Bas'. Unfortunately, the film didn’t work at the box-office but the diva never let any failure bring her down. She focused on studying drama and acting and acted in a South African movie titled “Othello”. In 2008, the diva entered the BIGG BOSS houseand garnered huge limelight.

Diana Hayden was the first Indian host who was approached the History Channel for the three-month series 'Biography with Diana Hayden'. The show went on to be rated among the most successful educational television programmes of the year. She has also penned down a book titled “A Beautiful Guide” which released in 2012. She explained, “A Beautiful Guide is an encyclopaedia on grooming and deals with personality development and confidence building. It has personal anecdotes from my life for the readers to know that there is a way to change and improve the way we present ourselves. The book has everything from the way to shape your eyebrows to the shades you should wear and the amount of perfume to be used.” When asked about her inspiration for writing the book, Diana stated that after her lectures for the students and modelling aspirants on confidence building, motivation, and grooming, the students would ask her for the notes. So, in order to prepare a guide for the aspiring models, Diana decided to write a book. She has helped groom contestants of various nationalities for beauty pageants like Miss World and Miss Europe.


Miss World 1997 Diana Hayden winner from India


Diana credits her mother and grandmother for her ‘teacher instinct’ in her that helped her make the best of her grooming classes. And she resisted the temptation to use specific brand names in the book. “I didn’t want to make it commercial. I wanted my readers to make their choice.”

Diana Hayden married Collin Dick from Las Vegas, United States on 13th September 2013. Collin has been working in Mumbai for an international NGO. The diva got her eggs freeze in between 2007 and 2008. Asking about her decision, Diana mentioned “I froze my eggs for two reasons: I was busy with my career at that time and, more important, I was very clear that I was going to wait to fall in love and marry before having a baby.”She discovered that she had endometriosis, a painful condition of the uterus that is also a cause of infertility for many women only when the couple were trying to revive the frozen eggs to conceive a baby. But at the age of 42, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Arya.

She is a successful model, mentor. an author, proud wife, and mother. She has always aspired to be a role model for young women in India and across the globe and she has been successful. Diana is passionate and career-driven. We wish the former Miss World, a very Happy Birthday. We hope she is quarantining well with her family and taking care of her health during the pandemic.