Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere Bollywood Is Just One Option
Iris Mittenaere’s tone lightens up when we touch upon the subject of children’s health. The ebullience in her voice doesn’t take us by surprise, given that the winner of the Miss Universe 2016 title has been propagating the cause of dental health in kids ever since she won her crown. The aspiring dental surgeon, 24, is aware that in India, winners of beauty pageants inevitably use their titles to explore a career in Bollywood. Yet, she urges them to explore other options.
Iris Mittenaere. Pic/Getty Images
Mittenaere, who co-judged last week’s Miss Diva – Miss Universe 2017 beauty contest, tells mid-day, “Bollywood is just one option [that a winner can explore]. A title-holder gets the chance to meet many important personalities. She can use the platform to talk about important issues and involve herself in charity. She can also educate herself further, emerging as a powerful businesswoman.”
When Mittenaere enlists the qualities she deems essential in a beauty pageant winner — beauty, intelligence, empathy and the ability to seamlessly interact with people – she states that they are requirements that cannot be acquired. “The aspirant must have these qualities in the first place. They will not have time [to acquire the traits] since the Miss Universe title is two months away.”
Mittenaere says she has only now understood how she wishes to pave her future. Talking about her association with an organisation that facilitates dental surgery for the underprivileged, she says, “I understand the importance of a smile, and how it helps in communication. These kids can’t smile, eat or speak. Hence, I am eager to help them.