Transgender model Naaz Joshi has become a household name after winning Miss World Diversity 2019 for the third consecutive year. This beauty pageant winner is making waves by inspiring the LGBTQ+ community across the world who are struggling with their identity. The influencer chose to mirror the fierceness of the Hindu Goddess Shakti in her outfit for the final round of the pageant to make a statement.
After participating in a series of fashion shows and beauty pageants, Naaz has started organising beauty pageants that promote inclusivity. This led to the birth of the 'Mrs Homemaker' competition, under which banner Naaz has organised six beauty pageants till date. In an exclusive interview with POPxo, Naaz opened up about how she dreams of joining Bollywood and has always loved the idea of acting. The 35-year-old, who is a single mother of a beautiful daughter, divulged details of dealing with a broken marriage and everything that followed, leading up to the win of the 2019 title.
I was born with a good sense of aesthetics, I designed my own wardrobe, not just that I designed the interiors of my home as well. My late sister Viveka Babajee encouraged me to join NIFT and sponsored my fee for those three years. She got me jobs as a backstage help, even before I joined NIFT. I always wished I could walk like her, so she taught me the basic ramp walk. She was my biggest support system, but she passed away in 2010. Later, I started my career as a fashion designer, but there is a saying that the universe will give you what you give out to universe. While working at a massage parlour, I got my first major break with the photographer Rishi Taneja who spent two winters with me for the biopic. He became my mentor of expression and posing, and the rest is history now.
I'd really like to work to help make the society more accepting. People from the community and their family members face a lot of discrimination, so my message to Indians is to live and let live. Also, I want to work to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, a lot of people lack sex education. I wish to visit schools and colleges for safe sex education classes along with gender equality.
Discrimination is something I have always faced, but when a five-star hotel in Gurgaon denied me entry, I really could not take it. I went to social media and contacted many journalists out there, few publications went in deep and researched that my entry was denied because of gender discrimination. It makes me very angry when I walk and people on streets laugh behind my back. It hurts, and I used to cry after these incidents, but I have become stronger now.
My most challenging win was the recent Miss World Diversity 2019 as I wasn’t sure if the organiser and board will give the crown to India, though I was very confident. And this time I had no money for the fee of my pageant. I sold two gold bangles that I had bought last Diwali. It was challenging because we had some exceptionally good contestants. My broken marriage shook me and I had started emotional eating, but still I was not confident. When I started my rounds, I forgot about my body issues and gave it my best shot and now results are here.
My daughter, Sharanya and my four dogs, bring a smile to my face. Thinking of a bright future and hoping one day I will get married to a nice guy brings a smile to my face. There are one million things that can make us sad, but we need to find our own happiness. My advice to people is to let things go, move forward and dream. Dream as much as you can and work hard to make those dreams come true.
Featured Image: Instagram
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