Jane Dipika Garrett: Redefining beauty, advocating positivity and inclusivity as Miss Universe Nepal 2023

Published On: September 15, 2023 06:15 PM NPT By: Sajira Shrestha

KATHMANDU, Sept 15: The historic moment unfolded in the Nepali beauty pageant world on the night of September 9, 2023, as Jane Dipika Garrett, a plus-size contestant, was crowned Miss Universe Nepal 2023. Jane, a 22-year-old nursing student, outshone more than 20 other contestants to claim the prestigious title and the honor of representing Nepal at the upcoming Miss Universe 2023 pageant in El Salvador on November 18.

Jane is not just a beauty queen but also an advocate for women's hormonal, mental, and physical well-being. In her own words, "As a woman who is curvy and doesn't conform to conventional beauty standards, I am here to represent women who face challenges with weight gain and hormonal issues. I firmly believe that beauty comes in various forms, and every woman is inherently beautiful just as they are."

Despite her confidence in her abilities, Jane expressed some skepticism about whether someone with her body type would be declared the winner in such a high-profile beauty pageant. She shared her emotions, saying, "I was elated and genuinely shocked when my name was announced."

Beauty pageants, not only in Nepal but globally, have long faced criticism for promoting narrow and unrealistic beauty ideals. However, last year, the Miss Universe Organization introduced a historic change in its selection process, allowing married women and mothers to compete, marking a significant departure from the previous criteria that limited participation to single women between the ages of 18 and 28 without children.

Jane Garrett's victory signifies a pivotal moment in breaking stereotypes associated with beauty pageants. She expressed her perspective, stating, "I truly believe I've broken the stereotype that winners must conform to a particular body type – tall, slim, and fit. This achievement is essential because every woman possesses unique beauty."

Yet, Jane's path to self-love and winning the Miss Universe Nepal title was far from easy. Before entering the competition, she grappled with feelings of demotivation and self-hatred. She shared, "It took me a long time to fully embrace and love myself. Over the past few years, particularly during the lockdown, I experienced weight gain, which led to a PCOS diagnosis. As my weight increased, I battled feelings of demotivation, self-doubt, and self-loathing. It was a long journey towards self-acceptance, healing from past traumas, and self-improvement."

Jane's resilience extended beyond physical challenges, as she also faced mental health struggles during the lockdown. She fought against depression and anxiety, seeking therapy and diligently working to foster a positive mindset. "I embarked on a journey of self-care. Previously, I neglected my well-being, indulging in unhealthy foods and even smoking. However, as a strong desire for change took hold of me, I began incorporating self-care routines and delving into positive literature. Over time, these healthy practices became an integral part of my life," she shared.

Now crowned as Miss Universe Nepal 2023, Jane is determined to leverage her platform to raise awareness about body positivity, mental health, and hormonal issues. She explained, "Through social media, I intend to disseminate uplifting messages and advocate for body positivity, mental health, and hormonal issues. Furthermore, I aspire to organize workshops addressing these crucial topics, inviting people from all walks of life, including those grappling with mental health challenges, burn victims, survivors of human trafficking, and students."

Jane aspires to embody a fusion of Rihanna's confidence and Mother Teresa's compassion. She envisions herself as a “boss babe” with a big heart, dedicated to helping others. She also imparts valuable advice to women, urging them to pursue their dreams. "You only have one life; you cannot spend it in fear or regret. You must break free from the confines of your mind. The choice is yours; you can pursue any path you desire, become anyone you aspire to be," she passionately encourages.

Jane also emphasizes the importance of acceptance and unity. "We should embrace each other's uniqueness and beauty. We are all human beings, and it is vital that we unite, accept, and love each other," she concludes, championing a message of inclusivity and love for all.


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