Sonal Kukreja Makes It To Top 12 Of This International Beauty Pageant, “So Scared To Wear…”

Indian model Sonal Kukreja made the nation proud by securing a place among the top 12 contestants in Miss Supranational 2024. The 15th edition of the beauty pageant was held in Nowy Sącz, Malopolkska, Poland, late at night on Saturday, July 6. While the beauty queen confidently sashayed her way into the top 12, Sonal did not advance to the top 5 finalists, which included Curacao’s Chanelle de Lau, Brazil’s Isadora Murta, Czech Republic’s Justýna Zedníková, United States’ Jenna Dykstra, and Indonesia’s Harashta Haifa Zahra. This year, the winning crown was awarded to Indonesia. Nevertheless, Sonal represented the nation with pride. Before taking the stage, Sonal had an exclusive chat with NDTV about her perspective on what it takes to be a beauty queen in India and what she was most afraid of wearing on stage for Miss Supranational 2024. 

Early Life

Sonal Kukreja talked about how she was judged for her complexion. She said, “That was a big phase of my life. I am still carrying it forward with me. The fact that I was so so insecure about how I looked. In India, there is a big colourism. A lot of people face that and I faced that because my sister is much lighter than my complexion..I would put my hand next to hers and be like, ‘Oh, yours is lighter. That means you are prettier, you are better.’” She also confessed how she let society’s beauty norms dictate her life in a way. She said that despite loving the sport, she chose to quit basketball because of how people warned her about getting darker and getting scars if she played sports. She even spoke about how her fear of scars led to more incidents that gave her scars like a recent dog bite on her face. 

Journey Of Entering LIVA Miss Diva Supranational 

Sonal Kukreja won LIVA Miss Diva Supranational 2023, which enabled her to represent India on the global platform. While talking about her journey, she shared how she randomly filled the form without any expectations. She said, “When this opportunity came my way of being a part of Miss India organisation or applying for Miss Diva…I closed my eyes and filled the 10-minute application. That’s what happened and did not even look further. It was literally almost as a joke in my head. I did not even tell my parents, my family, friends, nobody because a part of me was like, ‘It’s not going to happen. So let it be’ But when I heard that I got accepted and they announce in a certain way so they announced top 100, top 50, then comes the top 20 or 16 depending on the year.” It was not until she got the final call, that Sonal felt something has “shifted.” She added, “I did not even know that I was ready for it but I just went ahead.”

What Makes A Beauty Queen?

As per Sonal Kukreja, “To feel like a beauty queen you just have to tell yourself whatever stories you have, whatever weaknesses you have, you look at all of it and you tell yourself – ‘So what… can you move beyond that?’ That’s the first step… Because to feel like a beauty queen you have to first feel like, despite of everything that you don’t have, let’s look at what you have.” Sonal also mentioned that the most important thing is to “believe in your strengths.” 

Sonal Kukreja’s Preparation For The International Pageant? 

Sonal Kukreja explained that “a lot of pillars” contribute towards the preparation for an international pageant. She said, “ There is a whole army of people that are preparing you for every single day…I have a walk training…I have communication training…I had a voice crafting specialists…I have had hair training…Makeup training…I have also had mentors help me in terms of life coaching so what I envision for myself for the country also being in this position. How do I want my views to be put out in a way that is a representation of India, not just Sonal Kukreja alone.” The model also highlighted how she had designers from all over India help her with the best wardrobe for the runway.

Biggest Fear While Representing India On A Global Stage?

Sonal may have battled her insecurities and laid them to rest in her effort to take on the challenge of this global event quite expertly, but one fear remained even while her army of experts helped her prep for the pageant. To find out what that is, watch this video. 

Also Read: 5 Top Countries That Hold The Most Miss World Titles

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