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Saira Mohan's is the perfect face: Newsweek

Last updated on: November 06, 2003 17:46 IST

Those who swear by Aishwarya Rai's beauty may have to do a rethink.

Canada-born Saira Mohan has been hailed as the 'perfect face' by Newsweek, which has put her on the cover of its latest issue. The American magazine says her face is the sign of an emerging global standard of beauty reflecting a merger of the East and West.

The international model has a Punjabi father and French-Irish-Canadian ancestry on her mother's side.

"There is an increased awareness of all things oriental in the West. And with the rise of China I think this trend is set to continue," says Calvin Cheng, Asia head of Elite Model Management agency.

"She's one of those beautiful women who can easily be Italian, Britain or Spanish. And she can very well be an Indian in a sari," says Mumbai-based fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar.

Mohan, who won an Elite modelling competition in Los Angeles when she was only 13, has modelled for Calvin Klein. Victoria's Secret and Chanel and appeared on the cover of top fashion magazines GQ and Elle.

She says, "I capitalise on all angles. I am what I am, and if they want to pay me for being Punjabi - great. Similarly, if they want to pay me for looking Spanish or Italian - which they've done - wonderful."

But like a spokeswoman for the London-based Models 1 agency commented, "A beautiful girl is a beautiful girl, no matter what the combination."

Saira describes herself as coming from the most beautiful place in the world - the Canadian Rockies. "I have beautiful long fingers. I love to create art, using acrylics, a canvas, my body and my mind. I have a love for life that intoxicates me. I tend to fill my spare time painting, staying current on the news or reading a great, non-fiction book."

She listens to anything from Madonna to Mozart and loves watching anything on the Discovery Channel. Among other television shows, she favours: Six Feet Under, 60 Minutes, Dateline, Cheaters, Sex and the City, DisMissed, Frontline and Biography.

Saira is a challenge to the popular perception that beautiful people lack brains. She takes an interest in the stock market and says, "I've been successfully investing for many years in both up and down markets."

Shyam Bhatia in London