Time to normalize imperfections instead of teaching girls to be ‘perfect’, says Megha Rouniyar. Geneive D’Souza in conversation with Megha.
By Geneive D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | September 10, 2020
Megha Rouniyar from Nepal is making her own small impact in the United States of America. After dropping out of a medical school in Pune, India, she moved to the US to pursue a career in technology. Currently, she is practicing in her field as a Computer System Analyst. That apart, like most girls her age, she is cued on to Beauty Pageants and is currently training to participate in the Miss Nepal Universe, which will be held online!
“It is a one of a kind pageant which allows women of every shape and size to participate. This is one of the first pageant’s globally which is very inclusive and encourages women of every type to come out and live their dreams,” says 24-year-old Megha who speaks nineteen to the dozen. The finale of this pageant will be held end-November while application for the contest begins this month-end.
“It’s a very interesting pageant that truly believes in empowering women. I’m sure it will break the stereotypical beauty concept,” adds Megha who is fired up for this contest and who hopes to empower fellow women as she gains in popularity on the world stage.
Opening Doorz caught up with Megha Rouniyar over telephone for a chat into her Indian origins, pageantry and her journey forward.
Tell us something about your family. You mentioned that your mother is from India. How did they meet?
Nothing interesting to be very honest: my mom’s side were looking for a guy to get her married. Dad’s side had some relatives in India. Someone suggested my dad. They had a meeting and the rest is history! [Laughs].
You are living in the US, how did you qualify to participate in Miss Nepal Universe?
I am still a Nepali citizen. The interesting part about this pageant is that even if I had a US passport I would still qualify for the contest. The organisers don’t require a participant to have a Nepali citizenship. Even if I had a US passport, I would still be eligible because my parents are citizens of Nepal. Back home, we did not have that many opportunities. It’s encouraging for me to be here and see small steps of change.
What are your thoughts on this virtual pageant which will be taking place for the first time?
I think it’s an amazing concept. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has definitely pushed us to think ‘out of the box’. I believe this virtual pageant will not only set a new benchmark in Nepali Pageantry system as a pioneer, but will also give opportunities to many young Nepalese women all across the globe, who might have travel restrictions, to participate.
You were runner-up last year; tell us something about that pageant.
I participated in the Miss Nepal US last year (2019). This is a local pageant organized by the Nepalese community which allows women originally from Nepal based in the United States to compete in the pageant. It is a highly-valued pageant amongst the NRN community in the US. I wasn’t prepared at the time; yet won a title. This amazing experience boosted my confidence and made me believe that “hard work and persistence is the key to achieve any dreams.” So here I am now, working relentlessly to make my vision turn into a reality!
The Miss Nepal Universe Pageant, you mentioned is all inclusive. Do you think all beauty pageants should follow this pattern?
Absolutely! I firmly believe that beauty begins with acceptance. As creations of God, we are all beautiful in our own unique ways; so why not have more inclusive pageants like Miss Nepal Universe that welcomes women and trans-women of all colours and sizes with open arms? It’s about time to normalize imperfections instead of teaching our young girls to be ‘perfect’.
You have trained with Cocoaberry Talent and Academy online; how has your experience been?
Cocoaberry has been a blessing to me. It has definitely been one of the best decisions that I have ever made. My experience with them has been incredible. The online classes are crafted carefully by Anjali and Alesia Ma’am and every session caters towards improving a certain skill set. I never thought online pageant coaching would make so much of a difference.
What is your take-home from Alesia and Anjali?
Both Alesia and Anjali Ma’am are wonderful mentors and truly the best. There are endless attributes I have learnt from them. My biggest takeaway remains the confidence they instilled in me. They helped me unlock the better version of myself and taught me to believe in my abilities. Their calm and poised attitude is what I strive to attain every day.
(Geneive D’Souza is studying Arts at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She is passionate about writing, music, playing the piano and La Liga (FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi). She has her own YouTube channel, pianoforte).
Pic Courtesy: megharouniyar
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