INDIA: Piyali Toshniwal, a professional beauty pageant winner and fashion blogger, has won numerous prestigious beauty awards, including Mrs. Gorgeous 2019, Mrs. Universe Asia 2019, and Mrs. United Nations Goodwill World 2022 (to mention a few).
She has made several valuable contributions to society as a whole as Ambassador of National Mumbai Fashion Week and Peace of India (Niti Ayog and Govt. Org.). Piyali has manifested her success story into a thriving Grooming Academy under her own name to coach the next generation of beauty pageant winners.
Transcontinental Times had the privilege of interviewing the beauty guru to unravel hidden details of her inspiring success story, her parents’ reaction to her modelling career, and her golden words of wisdom for prospective pageant girls.
The beauty pageant winner sheds light on her success story
Piyali’s personal and professional achievements have been vast and varied, having dabbled in the performative arts (classical Bharatanatyam and contemporary Western), finding fulfillment as a motivational speaker and lecturer in different MBA and Engineering institutions.
Her achievements also includes flourishing a gold medal in academics, and flaunting her fashionable prowess on international magazine covers like LifeStyle (UK based), Beautiful You and so on.
Her contribution to women’s fitness and body positivity campaigns has been extraordinary, coaching the youth on fashion etiquette and personality development.
When asked about her immediate reactions to winning a beauty pageant, she described it as “a dream come true” when she won back-to-back beauty contests on a huge “rollercoaster ride” in 2019.
Her initial wins have greatly impacted her, needless to say, but her recent 2022 win is “still sinking in.” She admits the “hard work you put in, the struggles, the sleepless nights you put in” fetch fruitful results, and that is a feeling unmatched, “which you cannot express in words.”
Delving deeper into her journey, Piyali revealed her modeling career “happened by chance” when she accompanied her friend who went for an audition, simply intending to observe. A major self-confidence boost came when the organiser “personally” called her in for an interview, where Piyali poured her heart out, detailing her charity work.
Her “attitude, approach, and confidence” were key determinants of her selection in the top 3. The icing on the cake was the unwavering support she received from her family, who stood by her every step of the way.
Moreover, she described her Meta event experience as a “helluva ride” as she has always found happiness in the Instagram world as a content creator and beauty vlogger, learning new tricks of the social media platform and playing games with the top-notch content creators.
She cited Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh as the “top attraction of the day” who stole the show as a “powerhouse of energy.” She also mentioned major collaborations and partnerships coming up in recent weeks.
The beauty queen shares her blogging journey
Piyali reveals she had always dreamed of being a beauty queen, watching beauty icons like Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai winning accolades on the beauty stage, but she lacked the confidence to appear on that platform.
She credits her courage and gut instincts to grab such an opportunity in her thirties and thrive so well, despite already being an established entrepreneur and busy homemaker.
Her passion for blogging has not died down and will continue, she says, but launching her own grooming academy and pageants was a dream that finally came true. She now uses her hard work and talents to bring out talents in other people at an early age.
When asked about her opinions on the idea of beauty, she credited it to the inner self, which shines through “confidence, talent, positivity, and good work,” not to forget brains and ethics with which selfish dedication to charity emerges.
“A beautiful mind, a beautiful soul, and a beautiful heart” are all that matter. She emphasizes courage, empathy, and sympathy, nurturing a kind heart that thinks and does for society. Piyali’s journey has not always been smooth-sailing and was riddled with challenges at various critical stages in her life.
An inter-caste marriage, pregnancy issues resulting in a premature baby, battling depression, and fighting patriarchy even in her workplace- are just a few of the battles she has fought and won with a “positive attitude” and great help from her family. Her work has been a constant effort to give back to the people who believed in her, loved her, and supported her throughout to “make them proud.”
Her golden words of wisdom to her younger self were straightforward yet simply inspiring. To stay strong, find solutions to problems and dilemmas, and resolve issues “amicably and calmly” without slipping into depression, is the way to overcome life’s greatest challenges.
Her message to aspiring models and pageant winners was similar- to stay strong, focus on talents and hard work, nurture them to the utmost and listen to mentors carefully.
Gaining experience in all the ups and downs in the modelling industry is crucial because mentors and aides are always supportive and insistent on providing the best grooming experience for a successful career.
The interview was concluded with courageous words of battle spirit, even in the face of daunting pressures- to never give up or lose confidence. Gut feeling is a huge boost, and curiosity or the courage to learn is always rewarded.
Smart work can be convenient, but shortcuts to the work will not make your dreams “stay longer.” Success can only be sustained through hard work, not smart work.