Reita Faria - Beauty Beyond Skin Deep
The Indian diaspora had a feeble hope of her winning the pageant. But, she was still a part of the list of contestants which bookies were feverishly betting for. Out of the 66 contestants, 20-year old Miss UK was a favourite among all. However, Reita went on to win the Miss World 1966 pageant - the first Asian woman to win the event.
Reita had a humble childhood while growing up with Goan parents based in Matunga. Her father was an employee at a mineral water factory, while her mother owned a salon. Being tall at 5’8”, Faria was far more statuesque than Indian standards. Hence, she often attracted offers from casting and modeling agencies.
Her childhood friends recall that although she always carried herself with lot of poise, but her focus was always on her medical studies. She had always envisioned being in a profession where she could serve people and community, since her childhood. When she realized that there were very few doctors in India, she decided to pursue a career in medicine. According to Reita, she decided to enter the Miss
World Pageant just for ‘fun’ but ‘surprisingly’ won the title.
She was unfazed even after the win and the aftermath of it. Several modeling and casting roles for glamorous characters poured on her but she simply denied it as she harbored the dream of serving people in her heart.
Even after failing to clear the medical entrance test initially, she refuted the several offers from the glamorous industry which could have given her instant fame and wealth. She worked harder and eventually cleared the medical entrance exam, got her MBBS degree, and started practicing as a doctor.
She not only made India proud in the arena of beauty and fashion but also instilled self-assurance among Indian women by making it apparent that women from a developing nation like India can take world by their stride. In 2016, Reita commemorated the 50 th year of her title, with her beautiful daughters who are both doctors in Dublin.
“The glamour world could have never given me this grounded security. I wish the girls today would realize the fleeting nature of fame and looks. Running after these flashes of publicity, trying to hold onto what changes so rapidly and always looking out for variety, be it in ambitions or relations, is bound to cause distress. It’s unusual for a celebrity to make for a happy family these days, but this is where real happiness lies — in secure relationships,” said Reita.
Natural Bath & Body salutes the spirit of perseverance of Reita Faria that compelled her to pursue the path of humanity by not giving in to the temptations of the glamorous and material pleasures.