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Skin Deep with Dr Jamuna Pai
Dr Jamuna Pai
“The love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Once upon a time, long, long ago (in the summer of ’66, to be a bit more precise), there was a beautiful young woman called Reita Faria. TV meant Doordarshan then, and beauty products, the sweet smelling Cuticura talc – the stuff black and white memories are made of. Dr. Reita (she was a medical student then) became the Miss India that year - and barefoot at that, as her wobbly golden sandals failed her in the final round – and won the coveted Miss India prize: a free annual subscription to Eve’s Weekly, who sponsored the event. Later, she went on to become the first Indian (and Asian) to win the Miss World crown.

But Reita was a reluctant beauty queen, rejecting modeling assignments and film offers; choosing to continue with her medical studies. India’s tryst with beauty on the international scene was thus short lived.

The Venezuelan beauty factory captured the world’s imagination after that. They perfected the art of taking in girls of a standard size and shape and chiseling them into international perfection. The Venezuelan beauties’ clinching the title became so predictable, that these beauty contests became boring. And then, Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan happened - the Indian faces that officially launched a thousand ships, with their Miss Universe and Miss World titles. Eyes around the globe suddenly woke up to the glow of Indian skin. Other Miss Worlds weren’t slow in sprouting from Indian soil – Diana Hayden (1997), Yukta Mookhey (1999), Priyanka Chopra (2000). And 14 years after the epoch, the admiration has not ceased. Parvathy Omanakkuttan, was crowned the first runner up of Miss World 2008. Though she missed out on the big one, Parvathy was lauded as the Continental Queen of Beauty for Asia and Oceania.

While collective sighs and conspiracy theories continue to unravel the miss between the cup and the lip, a more interesting question coming out of hibernation would be, what is it about Indian skin that helps itself to the crown? Cosmetologists have observed that the urban Indian girl doesn’t use as much makeup as girls of their age in the western world do, despite living through a cosmetic world. That, combined with ample natural melanin protection, soothes the Indian skin to its sultry best. And the effect is there to see: a 50-year-old westerner looks like a 70-year-old Indian. While doing anti wrinkle treatment for westerners, the cosmetologist has to pinch the skin up and manually lift their wrinkle!

We catch up with Dr. Jamuna Pai who has been the official skin and hair consultant to most of the Indian contestants who have won the international titles. And she whispers to us some secrets of Parvathy Omanakkuttan, our new beauty icon.

Skintimate Secrets
  • Parvathy’s skin was looked after by an expert team from April through November last year, till she left for the big pageant. The Miss India World would drop in occasionally to take their suggestions.
  • The damsel was in distress following a brief burst of pimples. It was successfully neutralized.
  • Her rosy lips were made more plump.
  • The beautiful face had a couple of scars which were removed.
  • Her jaws were contoured to make them more symmetrical.
  • The lovely lady also got a Spanish brightening treatment for that extra sheen in her skin.
  • And thus, a thing of beauty is made as a joy forever.
Dr Jamuna Pai is an eminent skin and hair consultant.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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