Why Bday Girl Sushmita Sen Was Woke Before it Was Even A Word

Actress and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen has always been a trend setter and a pioneer. Someone who lives life on her own terms and takes it on a stride.

She maintained a progressive and ‘woke’ attitude toward work and life when the word wasn’t even part of the millennial lingo.

On her 43rd birthday, let’s take a look at all the things that make her cool.

‘Love is the essence of life in India’: Sen’s Speech As Miss Universe 1994 is a Winner

Sushmita Sen bagged the title of Miss Universe in 1994, making her the first Indian woman to have worn the International crown. Her stage presence and confidence wasn't the only thing spectacular though. It was her answers that floored the judges and the million people watching her on TV.

She Learned ‘How To English’ Like A Bawss at 16

Were you just amazed by her performance, and confident English at a world stage? Well, she learned that fluency in English in just two years! Having studied in a Hindi medium school, Sen picked up English only at 16.

She Is Queen of ‘Jugaad’

Sushmita Sen crowned Miss Universe 1994

Sen belonged to a middle class family with very little budget for an expensive gown when she entered the pageant. But that didn’t stop her from chasing after her dreams. Her dress for the final round was designed by her mother and sewed at a local tailor in Mina Bazar.

Word has it that her gloves were actually jugaad versions made out of a pair of white socks.

But then again, who needs label when the person wearing the dress gives it all the value add it needs?

She Chose To be a Single Mother

Sen with daughter Renee

Motherhood was a choice Sushmita Sen made. The world did a double take when she adopted a girl child when she was just 25 years of age and at the peak of her career, followed by a second adoption. The decision shocked several around her but didn’t shake her resolve to adopt Renee and Alisah.

In fact, she was denied guardianship of her first adopted child, because she was too young, as reported here.

But later, the High Court redressed the appeal and the result went to her favour.

She Fought Sexual Harassment Before #MeToo Was a Thing

Sushmita Sen is perhaps one of the first few who called out the sexual harassment that female actors regularly face. Sushmita Sen and her fight with Coca Cola made headlines when the incident occurred but was soon forgotten by the media. ICYMI, Sen had signed a Rs 1.5 cr contract with the soft drink giant, which ended prematurely, apparently after Sushmita Sen raised hell and filed a complaint against their employee for sexually harassing her.

Against that, she had reportedly received Rs 145 lakh as the compensation after a long standing battle. Today a High Court declared that the money she received as compensation shall not be taxable. Hurray!

Whether it is fighting for her dignity, setting her own terms for motherhood, deciding to not keep society as a benchmark for love and relationship, and above all living life the way she wants -- Sushmita Sen is a true role model to young girls out there

She is ahead of her times.

Happy Birthday, Sush!

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