This time around we had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with AR Mathing, Miss Manipur 2019. This lovely young model of 24 years was crowned miss Manipur in the month of January 2020. She is a resident of Ukhrul, Manipur but has experienced growing in a multi cultured environment resulting from her father’s profession related transfers.
A History (Honors) post-graduate from Ambedkar University, she has been a part of many pageants. She reveals that in her days before pageants; she was an introvert and very reserved as a person. She was keen about sports and had no aptitude for fashion. She had very less female friends and her circle of friends had more males, who often referred to her as a ‘tomboy’, as such, it was shocker to all when she entered the glamour industry. She added that she is more approachable and confident about her interactions with people.
What is your opinion on International Women’s Day 2020 theme— “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”
It is a wonderful theme for Women’s day 2020. The theme speaks for itself.
Men need to understand that the old days are gone, where physical strength was the only way to define superiority, because those were the days when traces of technology was zero and survival on farming and hunting were one of the main exercises.
Women need to understand where they stand in this generation of education and technological advancement. Yes, we do agree that in general, we are physically weaker than men but I don’t think we are weaker than men in any other aspect, be it mentally, intellectually, etc.
Women must know their rights given by the State or the constitution and stand by it and make sure that it’s not taken away from her, not even by her family.
At the end of the day, we are all human with gender differences. A woman can give birth, Man is stronger physically but keeping aside all our differences, as an individual we have got the same thinking capacity, emotions, five senses and we are all human. So a man needs to respect women and give them the place they deserve. Also women need to stop comparing themselves with men and live life to fullest in their own terms.
It should not be, “why should I as a woman be home and look after the kid, I can also go to work just like the man and earn” instead, it should be “I am free to do whatever I want to do in life and no one should raise any questions about it”
It should not be, “I am the head of the family and everything should go according to me as a man”. But it should be “I need to discuss it with my partner and think of the best solution, not because she will have better ideas but because we are in this together and she deserves it”.
Feminism started because we as women were not given the right to vote in the society. We were not given the equal respect that we rightfully deserved, and in India, we are still fighting for it. I appreciate those men who really respect women and think of us equally.
As a woman what do you think is the biggest challenge?
Being a woman itself is the biggest challenge in society I live in and I think we (both men and women) are to be blamed for it.
Asking for equal pay for the same work is challenging, convincing to give us jobs not because we are women but because we are good at it is challenging, coming home late at night is challenging. We are both to be blamed for this because the men won’t stop thinking of it that way and women won’t start coming forward to break the taboo.
You have won crowns from many pageants, how do you use these titles to inspire other women?
I thank my parents and God for all my success and achievement till now.
I can help few and contribute my time and energy to people around me when I am needed through this profession.
I am not sure if I have inspired anyone yet or if I would be able to inspire anyone soon, But I would like to say, never stop dreaming and once you dream about something never forget to give it a shot and once you achieve it, always be thankful to God and use your platform and try to give back something to your society because, as women we need to come forward and take the leading spot in this competitive generation.
Was beauty pageant your childhood dream or did anyone encourage you to join the contest?
Love for the pageant has been constant ever since I was young. I remember vividly when Lara Dutta was crowned Miss Universe in 2000. I was just around 5 years, I didn’t know back then what beauty pageant was, but as I grew older, I came to know more about it and I started falling in love with beauty Pageants because this platform is so empowering. It gives the younger generation like us a voice for a good cause in our society and all over the world. I would also like to add, pageants also teaches a person a lot on how to work on themselves, how to build their self-esteem, confidence, and strength. This is the sole purpose that motivated me in this pageantry world and I am so happy that I took my chances in this field. I am here today fighting for a good cause using my platform.
Do you have any tips or suggestions to aspiring beauty pageant candidates?
Sure, if my tips will help, although I would suggest to pick a topic and write an essay about it every day. Focus on your positive points and polish it more. Nobody is perfect, I, too, am not perfect and the same goes for you. So we should always try to look for the beauty in every ugly situation and focus on the good things, then we can overcome anything in life. Be confident in what you do and believe in yourself; also try to appreciate yourself time to time, especially when you think you are at your lowest point.
What according to you “Millennial Beauty contest”, is the judge looking just the outer beauty please explain?
No, deciding someone’s destiny or future completely based on their outer beauty would be absurd. There is so much more to it. Yes, I completely agree outer beauty is as important as the inner beauty but just sit down and think about it yourself, would you choose outer beauty over inner beauty? The answer would be 100% NO. The judge has to look beyond that. It is not easy to decide someone’s future also not easy to give away the crown that comes with responsibility just like that. On stage, the Judge is always looking for someone strong, bold and confident. Someone who can dominate all the other contestants through her/his performance, One on stage must be really good enough to convince the judge that he/she is responsible, matured and passionate enough to be worthy of that crown and I think that is what the judge is looking for at the end of the day.
As Miss Manipur 2019, what do you think your state lacks and how can you improve it by using your title?
One thing I know for sure that my state is a very diverse state with rich culture and tradition in addition to that if you survey my state Manipur every district has something or the other to offer to the visitors.
Keibul lamjao National park, the only place in the world where we can find the subspecies of brow-antlered deer, Sangai.
Shirui Lily, A very rare species of plant found only in the Shirui hill range in the Ukhrul district.
Dzuku valley Known for its natural beauty, rich with natural flora and fauna with spectacular landscape.
Kangla Fort, a historical palace where the kings of Manipur used to live. It’s an important historical palace not only for Manipur but India as a whole.
Khongjom War memorial- another historical site where an important war took place in the 19th century between the British ruler and Manipur located in the thoubal district.
Loktak lake- the largest freshwater lake in northeast India, not just an important tourist site but a means of livelihood for many people living around the lake.
So if you ask me what lacks in my state then I would say we lack in attracting tourists in our state, and with my title, I would like to promote tourism in my state so that my state can have more earning through tourists.
Through this more families will have enough stomach to fill and more children can be educated.
Are you competing for further pageants?
I am always open to new challenges in life also I want to challenge myself in every step of my life. The rest is up to God and my Stars.
Message to the youths and readers
Never stop dreaming and give your dreams a chance to live, be humble and giving all the time.
Yes, we live in a country where our parents think Govt. job is the best job or becoming a Doctor or an Engineer would settle your life, but it will never buy us happiness.
India has so many doctors and engineers which govt. and private sectors both can’t afford to give jobs due to zero vacancies, the same goes for Government jobs. We need to break this taboo as a youth of this generation because we are the ones that will shape the nation. Take Korea as an example where more than 50% of the national income is through the entertainment and fashion Industry.
If we start living our dreams and care less about secured Jobs I think we would make a better nation, a nation where lesser people will go to bed empty stomach.
We need to respect every Job because it’s a talent, not everyone posses.