Lara Dutta

Lara Dutta praises the renowned beauty pageant’ decision to allow participation from married women and mothers


The Miss Universe beauty pageant revealed last month that it would be extending the competition’s eligibility to include mothers and married women. Lara Dutta, Miss Universe 2000, responded to the news by calling it an “incredible decision.” 

The Miss Universe pageant’s rules have always stipulated that winners must be single and continue to be so for the duration of their reign after taking home the crown. But starting in 2023, a contestant’s marital or parental status won’t be a factor in determining their eligibility.

Lara Dutta said in an interview, “It’s an incredible step in the right direction. Now we are talking about inclusion and this conversation has been happening around the world for years now. You know everything is evolving and so the concept of beauty pageant has also evolved over the years.”

She further added, “I think it is fantastic that they are now allowing mothers and married women to come in. There are some incredible women out there who feel that they don’t have the opportunity to participate because they don’t qualify for it and also this will help some really incredible women to come forward. Women that need to be celebrated and the women we need to empower. I think it’s a good step.”

Lara became well-known after she was crowned Miss Universe in 2000. In the competition’s history, an Indian has won the title twice; the first time was Sushmita Sen in 1994. After that, Lara made her Bollywood debut in the movie Andaaz with Priyanka Chopra, who was also named Miss World in 2000. Akshay Kumar played the lead in the movie.

Later, Lara made appearances in movies like Partner, Bhagam Bhag, Kaal, Chalo Dilli, and the Don series. In 2020, she made a comeback with the web series Hundred on Disney+ Hotstar. Later, she appeared in the movie Hiccups and Hookups with Prateik Babbar and Shinnova. Kaun Banegi Shikharwati, her most recent endeavour, was made available on Disney+ Hotstar.