Don’t fear failure, and never feel ashamed of embracing new learning experiences. Stay true to yourself, understand your self-worth, avoid compromising, and don’t settle for anything less.
Mrs USA Universe 2024
Physical therapist USA
As a globally recognised Beauty Queen what has been your journey from initial stage of your intrest in fashion and life style to being Mrs USA Universe 2024?
Growing up, I was captivated by beauty pageants, inspired by icons like Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen, who not only claimed global titles but also contributed to social causes. Initially drawn to the glamour, my perspective evolved as I realized the profound impact these women made. Although societal views frowned upon a career in the fashion industry, I pursued a profession as a Physical Therapist. Encountering a supportive husband, I seized an opportunity to participate in a 2017 pageant, leading to modeling gigs with renowned designers like Anita Dongre, Tarun Tahiliani, Neeta Lulla, and international celebrities such as Chloe Dao and Negris Labrum. Despite juggling responsibilities as a mom and a full-time Physical Therapist in the USA, separated from my family in India, I attribute my success to relentless hard work. Embracing my identity as a girl next door who prioritizes comfort over style, I spend weekdays in scrubs but immerse myself in fashion shows and photoshoots during my free time, welcoming new ideas and self-exploration fueled by the love and support of those around me.
How much it was challenging for you to win the title of Mrs USA Universe in Seattle?
I truly believe that EVERYTHING HAPPENS TWICE, ONCE IN OUR MINDS, AND THEN IN REALITY, Winning the pageant wasn’t luck; it was the result of relentless hard work. I didn’t take a day off from my job while preparing nor did I shun from my duties as a Mom or a Wife, or PHYSICAL THERAPIST. I was working until the last day before flying to Seattle. After winning, I returned to work the next morning at 7:30 am. Balancing ambitions with my husband, who was pursuing an MBA at Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, and with in-laws flying in from India to care for our kids in Houston, I stood tall with confidence during my pageant. No family was in the audience to cheer, but my determination drove me. Nights from 11pm-3am were dedicated to preparation for weeks, and months becoming my own coach. I embrace challenges, defy norms, and reject the idea of choosing priorities; I believe in having it all. Failure is a setback I overcome with resilience and bounce back stronger.
What are your emotions / feelings as you are going to represent Mrs Universe next year as a Indian American?
It’s not just double the honor but triple the responsibility as I prepare to represent both the USA and India at the Mrs. Universe pageant in South Korea in October 2024. I take immense pride in showcasing my heritage and culture on this prestigious global platform. This opportunity is more than a personal achievement; it’s a chance to inspire Gen Z women and girls to dream big and soar to new heights. While it brings moments of nervousness, being chosen as a role model is a source of immense pride. I am committed to speaking for and supporting the dreams of thousands and millions, encouraging them to break free from societal expectations, especially those placed on married individuals. The responsibility on my shoulders is substantial, but I am determined to represent both nations with confidence and make everyone proud.
How would you like to define succes in your career.How one can achieve success and fullfil their dreams in the field of beauty and fashion while facing many challenges?
Success, for me, is finding contentment and happiness that motivates me each morning to take on life with enthusiasm. At this stage, it means achieving a perfect balance between personal life, family, career, passion, health, and mental well-being. Clearing auditions, winning pageants, and excelling in my modeling career define success. Yet, juggling roles as a daughter, daughter-in-law, wife, mother, physical therapist, model, actor, dancer, and influencer comes with its failures. However, I have learned that hitting rock bottom is an opportunity to rise. Despite limited support pursuing modeling alongside being a full-time wife and mom, I faced criticism from acquaintances and even relatives. Today, those same critics celebrate my success. Success, whether in name, fame, wealth, health, or personal goals, is what brings happiness. In a booming fashion industry, thriving is significant, and my journey involved hard work, relentless self-improvement, and sacrifices, crafting my own legacy.
western or Indian traditional?
I really like wearing black. Every time I think I have enough black clothes, I end up buying another black outfit. But I also enjoy wearing blue and red. My husband, Yashesh Panchal, thinks white looks great on me. When I was a kid, I was kind of a tomboy and didn’t like wearing traditional Indian clothes like salwar kameez. However, my physical therapy college had a rule that we had to wear salwar kameez. Over time, I started to like them. After moving to the USA, I don’t get many chances to wear traditional outfits, but whenever I can, I make sure to show them off and flaunt myself. My family is amazed to see me loving wearing Sarees and all dolled up in jewelries and stuff.
You have won the title of Mrs USA Universe.What are your dreams and future goals?
I aspire to be the torchbearer for the former Mrs. Universe title, holding the torch high to illuminate the path for the future generation. However, I believe in taking one step at a time. Setting small, short-term goals allows me to gradually work towards the larger picture. In this upcoming year, I aim to focus on self-improvement and use my platform as a means to inspire others, especially women—wives and mothers like me—who have yearned to pursue personal aspirations but were hindered by family pressures, societal labels, or limited opportunities.
As a global ambassador, my goal is to become a spokesperson who unites, motivates, and inspires people, making them feel more relatable. This year presents an opportunity to enhance my communication skills, leadership qualities, and elevate my career trajectory in modeling, acting, and pageantry. Collaborating with organizations, brands, and building a strong network stands out as a significant takeaway. My ultimate aim is to continue and uphold the legacy of the former Mrs. Universe title, making myself and my country where i was born INDIA, and where I am at present USA both proud of me.
What are your compliments for your parents and life partner?
As evident from my previous responses, I am a self-made woman, and I take immense pride in that accomplishment. Every achievement I hold is a result of my relentless efforts—the last drop of sweat. I have diligently worked for it, and I find it disheartening when people attribute my success to luck. However, I do consider myself fortunate in one aspect: having been born to my parents, YASHVANT and ASMITA Chauhan, and being married to YASHESH Panchal, with JITENDRA and HINAXI Panchal as my supportive in-laws.My family has been a pillar of support, never acting as obstacles or suppressing my dreams. Instead, they have consistently encouraged me, emphasizing that the only limitations I should acknowledge are the size of my dreams and the scope of my imagination. Their readiness to support me has been unwavering. My children, RISHAV (7) and ARNA (2), reflect a twinkle in their eyes when they see me in newspapers or on TV channels—a source of immense pride for me. Yashesh, my husband, is not just a life partner but also my guide, critic, personal coach, fitness trainer, dietitian, and nutritionist.
In acknowledging my success, I refrain from using the word “I” because it’s a collective effort—”We.” When I stand on the stage as Mrs. Universe USA, it is the collective support of all these incredible people that has made me who I am.
Who is your favorite costume designer and why?
My confidence and comfort come from my personal style. As a small-town girl who never grew up wearing branded clothes, I find genuine happiness in shopping from clearance sections. It’s important for the world to know that you don’t have to be wealthy to enter pageant world, to be a model or hold the title of Mrs. Universe USA.
While I have embraced branded attire during my modeling experiences, walking for renowned designers such as Anita Dongre, Neeta Lulla, and Tarun Tahiliani—designers whose creations have graced Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor, and Hrithik Roshan—I still cherish the joy of finding treasures in clearance racks.
Being a showstopper for Manyavar Mohey, a famous ethnic brand in India with ambassadors like Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, brought me great joy. I also had the privilege of working with international designers like Chloe Dao and Negris Lebrum, known for their appearances on the American show PROJECT RUNWAY.
You are always fit and energetic with natural smile.What is the secret behind this?
The Camera. Just kidding. You reflect what’s within you. When you put in the hard work to achieve even a small measure of success, it brings joy and motivation for the next steps. Pursuing self-goals in each role I undertake brings happiness, evident in the smile on my face.
As a physical therapist, my commitment has always been to help post-surgical debilitated patients regain their prior level of (active) function. It’s only logical that I apply the same principle to my own body. I worked on my post-pregnancy body to not only reclaim my prior level of function but surpass it. At the age of 36, as a mom of two, I confidently strut the runway alongside international models, a rarity for Indian models.
For me, clean eating and dancing constitute my workout routine. I don’t eliminate specific food groups or starve myself. Such notions, like “kuchc khaya kar, tujhe khaane ki zaroorat hein, gayab ho jayegi, she will become a skeleton soon,” stem from those who are unhealthy and seek to bring down those who work hard for results. I enjoy a variety of foods, opting for healthier versions, ensuring I get the necessary calories. Indian food, when balanced (minus the fried/sugary items), is the best. I allow myself cheat days and stay hydrated with plenty of water. Given that I lift heavy patients, I prioritize good body care and posture.
What is your message to your fans worldwide?
If I can achieve it, so can you. Juggling multiple roles as a daughter, wife, mom, physical therapist, pageant winner, model, actor, dancer, and fashion influencer, I have encountered my share of failures. Don’t fear failure, and never feel ashamed of embracing new learning experiences. Stay true to yourself, understand your self-worth, avoid compromising, and don’t settle for anything less. It’s impossible to please everyone, and that’s okay. Dream big, stay connected to your roots, surround yourself with positivity, and eliminate negativity from your life. Break out of the box, overcome barriers, and be a role model for your children – make yourself proud. Lastly, have fun in this process, it’s ok to be silly and never feel guilty of prioritizing your own self. I always say what the flight attendants teach us“ PUT YOUR OXYGEN MASK FIRST, BEFORE YOU CAN HELP OTHERS “
Which is your favorite quote?
You are the master of your destiny. No one should tell you “ You can’t have everything “
Make Bold Choices.As for what i know,
BOLD CHOICES MAKE BOLD WOMEN AND BOLD WOMEN CREATES HISTORY.