(International beauty contest for  business ladies)

Raisa Niraj Ved-Zakirova from Irkutsk, who lives in India with her Indian husband and wonderful young daughter, was already on our magazine cover once. We chose her among many because this beautiful, strong and at the same time fragile woman had a lot to tell about herself. Last time we talked about her participation in ‘Lady Russia’ Beauty contest, where she won first title in the international nomination ‘Lady Universe’- 2013. Recently she also became a winner of the international ‘Miss World Russian Beauty-2014’ contest, held in the USA.

Raisa, you took part in the recent ‘Missis World Russian Beauty’ in America. How did it all begin?

It started with a lot of agitation and troubles that awaited me and my family at the American consulate. I had to think of Oksana Fedorova who also had a delay because of the visa. After the first visa refusal, my daughter and I were very disappointed that we would not be able to join the contest. But we applied for the second time. After 2,5 hours interview and invitation of my husband we got the visa. That was a real emotional roller coaster.


You were tough, congratulations. By the way, how hard was the contest emotionally?

I was already well prepared, because it was not my first beauty contest. The latest ‘Lady Russia’ contest where I had won first title in ‘Lady Universe’ nomination, gave me the opportunity to go to New York and take part in ‘Missis World Russian Beauty’. This is the most prestigious beauty contest among our nationals, held since 1990s.

Missis World Russian Beauty contest took place in New York, lasted four days and was remarkable for its numerous participants from more than 30 countries. Guests included producers, models, designers and celebrities.

The contest was moderated by ‘House 2’* participants Stepan Menshchikov and Rustam Solntsev. Unfortunately I had no chance to meet Rustam but managed to meet Stepan, he was a very good company.

The atmosphere during the contest was very friendly, which is very important at such exciting events and I was lucky again.


What was the most challenging part for you at the contest?

We had to wear a cocktail dress, an evening dress and a swimwear. There were no issues with the dresses, my husband gifted me a stunning designer dress named ‘Firebird’. However the swimwear was the tricky part.

I went weak in my knees before the swimwear contest, because I am married to a person of a different cultural background, he is from India and they have their own cultural traditions. I warned my husband that I would probably have to show up in swimwear. He said ‘It’s okay, no one knows you there anyway’. But I knew he was hiding his emotions. What happened after was beyond my expectations. He said he was very happy I had won and was proud of me. It is the greatest happiness to hear such praise.


Your daughter was with you?

Yes, my daughter Naveen Niraj Ved participated in Mini Miss World Russian Beauty NY 2014. She represented India and was the youngest one. She conquered the jury and took the first prize. She had been looking forward to this so much, it had been her dream. She performed a dance from an Indian movie, had colorful Indian costumes, everybody came up to her to take pictures.


Your husband must have been over the moon, seeing his both queens – wife and daughter – on the stage.

That’s true. After the contest everybody went on a cruise. But I did not join, I wanted to visit New Jersey, Washington, Niagara Falls, to see the Statue of Liberty and the New York suburbs. I visited everything, ticked it off, saw Americans and realized how much I missed Irkutsk and our cuisine. I don’t like their fast food. Had my meals at Chinese restaurants where I could find vegetables and meat.

How did you prepare yourself for the contest?

I went to the gym and swimming pool every day, had full body massage. Being 155 cm tall, I set my weight at 53 kg. My husband is Indian, in their culture slim women are not considered pretty. So I found the right balance to look good for both India and Europe. Besides that I restored my hair, applied mustard masks every second day. They strengthen the roots and good for those who want to have long shiny hair. As far as the face is concerned, I take good care of it at home and in salons.

Would you please wish something to Russian women.

Always be feminine, beautiful, inspire your men and make your children happy. Victory is not easy but it’s worth it when you see how proud for you your husband is.

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