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Hailing from Manitoba, Canada, 24-year-old model and marketing professional Amin Dhillon has become the first woman to be crowned Miss India Worldwide Canada by IFC. She will represent Canada at the 19th annual Miss India Worldwide Pageant, which will be held on March 27, 2010 at the International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa. On behalf of NRI Today, Amanda Sodhi, caught up with her for this brief conversation —

First of all, congratulations for being crowned Miss India Worldwide Canada 2010! This must be an exciting moment for you. Could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I graduated with Honors specializing in Marketing and Human Resource Management from the University of Manitoba. I am now working on my own online boutique,, and I am also a Promotions Manager at a popular nightspot. I am a first generation Canadian and my family is from Punjab. I am also a model and host so I am definitely a busy person!

How and why did you get into modeling? How did you decide to try out for Miss India Worldwide Canada?

I entered modeling by accident. I always enjoyed having my photos taken and dressing up but I never took it seriously. I ended up finding out about the Miss India Canada beauty pageant and decided to apply for fun. Long story short, I ended up being selected to be in the pageant and made it as a runner up! That’s when I started to get offers of modeling, acting and hosting and I am really enjoying it! I thought the Miss India Canada pageant would be my last pageant but I was traveling around India for several months and was invited to attend the Miss India Worldwide India beauty pageant in New Delhi. I spoke to the pageant organizers and decided to apply for the Canadian pageant. After a lengthy audition process, I beat out thousands of girls across Canada for the title of Miss India Worldwide Canada!

You’ve said you will use your newly crowned position to travel across Canada to support charity causes. Could you elaborate a bit more on this?

I strongly believe it is important for people in the public eye to support charities and other important causes like women’s rights. I have this great opportunity to be a role model and to have a voice in the world and I want to make this count. I am eager to lend my support to various charities and cultural events across Canada to raise awareness of important issues. I also hope to go back to India to help set up a training facility in Punjab. When I was traveling in India, I saw how hard life is for girls, especially in rural areas. I hope to raise enough money to go back to India and set up a center where girls can obtain basic education and learn a trade so they can support themselves and their families. I strongly believe an educated woman is a powerful woman.

What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to stick to modeling? Many models transition into acting. Is that something you are interested in? Or, since you have a degree in business, do you plan to pursue a career in marketing?

I am open to any opportunities that come my way. I have always wanted to be in a Bollywood movie as I love to dance to Hindi songs and dress up. I speak Punjabi and Hindi so I watch tons of Bollywood movies. I have had a few movie offers but I want to have the right movie with the right role. I am also still modeling. I enjoy being in front of the camera. I am also a businesswoman and I am focused on launching my own online boutique where I carry women’s jewelry and accessories and formal children’s clothing. I hope to expand this online boutique into a chain of fashion boutiques across Canada and then beyond!

The modeling and fashion industry receives a lot of flak for setting unrealistic and unhealthy standards regarding weight and causing young girls to be over-selfconscious about their appearance. Your thoughts on this…

I think there are always going to be people who will try to put others down for their appearance. However, I think it is up to the parents to make sure they give their daughters the knowledge and support to understand they can’t let anyone tell them what is considered beautiful. Beauty is subjective and everyone has something beautiful about them. The most beautiful people I know are the ones who have great confidence and a beautiful heart and soul. My mother always told me that I was a beautiful person inside and outside and that people will try to bring me down because of their own insecurities. She was right. The people who tried to make me feel insecure are the same people who are now seeing my face on magazine covers and trying to be my friends all of a sudden. You can’t control with the media or what people will say but you can control how you react and that’s the most important part.

Being an NRI, do you have any advice for aspiring NRI models?

As an NRI model, you need to be careful in the industry. Working in any foreign country can be difficult, especially when the laws can be very different. Models need to understand the laws of the country they are working in and make sure to protect themselves from those people who may try to take advantage. You will always meet someone who claims to be a huge scout/producer/director, etc. and is really running a scam. So the best advice is to never take anyone’s word at face value and always make sure to protect yourself in the eyes of the law.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our NRI Today readers?

I would like to invite your readers to keep up-to-date on my activities as Miss India Worldwide Canada 2010. Readers can visit my official website www.amindhillon. com to read more about the pageant and me. I am also using a blog to give supporters and fans an insight into my life, so make sure to check it out!

It was a pleasure interviewing you, Amin! We at NRI Today wish you the very best with the Miss India Worldwide pageant and your career.