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Pix: When Diana Hayden proved she's more than a beauty queen

Last updated on: April 27, 2018 10:21 IST

From supporting charities and building homes to grooming young women, Diana Hayden who won Miss World in 1997, has inspired many lives during her career journey.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb recently made a statement comparing former Miss Worlds Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with Diana Hayden.

“We see women as goddess Laxmi, Saraswati. Aishwarya Rai represents the Indian women. She became the Miss World and that’s all right. But I do not understand the beauty of Diana Hayden,” Deb, who became the chief minister last month, said.

Addressing a day-long design workshop on handlooms and handicrafts at the Prajna Bhavan, Deb criticised the merit of the pageant too.

"Whoever contested the international beauty pageants won. For five consecutive years, we won the Miss World/Miss Universe awards. Diana Hayden won it too. Do you think she should have won the title?” Deb said.

Aishwarya won the pageant in 1994, Hayden got home the crown in 1997.

While both women, we think have done our country equally proud, here are some instances when Diana Hayden proved that beauty is skin deep.

Diana Hayden won Miss World in 1997

Diana Hayden was an unusual bet at the Miss World pageant.
In an interview, grooming expert Hemant Trivedi who trained Hayden said: "She was like a tomboy in what I call window-cleaner clothes. She was a plain Jane, heavy around the hips, with little knowledge of fashion.”
Diana is the third Indian to win the Miss World crown. Reita Faria was the first to win it in 1966 followed by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 1994.
Photograph: Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Diana Hayden

Not many know that Diana was forced to quit school in class VIII. She started working when she was 14. 
Today, Diana lectures students and modelling aspirants on confidence building, motivation and grooming.
She has helped groom contestants of various nationalities for beauty pageants like Miss World and Miss Europe.

All photographs: Kind courtesy Diana Hayden

Diana Hayden

Like most beauty queens, Diana has been associated with various charities including Child Rights and You (CRY), PETA, Greenpeace and the Spastic Society of India.
She has supported several causes to spread awareness about cancer and HIV/AIDS.
During an online chat with Rediff readers in 1997, the beauty queen also upheld the importance of caring for environment.
"If you are not concious of your environment, you are NOT gonna have any people left, let alone riches/poverty," Hayden said.

Diana Hayden

Diana also builds homes globally with Habitat for Humanity International.

Diana Hayden

Diana Hayden was the first Indian host who was approached the History Channel for the three-month series 'Biography with Diana Hayden'. The show went on to be rated among the most successful educational television programmes of the year.
On August 6, the model-actor released her book A Beautiful Truth - The Art of Grooming for Women, a grooming guide which offered simple, practical tips.  Photograph: Kind courtesy Diana Hayden

Diana Hayden

She absolutely loves animals.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Diana Hayden

Diana Hayden with daughter

In 2016, Hayden, who is married to Collin Dick, once again made headlines when she gave birth to a baby using eggs she froze between 2007 and 2008.
The 41-year-old is expecting twins in 2018.

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau