Reeva Khanal: “Success is the feeling you get when your work is a reason for someone’s smile”

NL Today

  • Read Time 3 min.

Kathmandu: Reeva Khanal of Lalitpur recently bagged the title of Miss SEE Icon 2021. Khanal says she loves writing, public speaking, and dancing.

“Listening to People’s voices has always been my top priority, with a vision of becoming a social activist,” she says. “I want to be the voice of the voiceless.” 

Khanal, who believes that confidence is key to materialize one’s dream, looks up to the CNN Hero 2010 Anuradha Koirala and, like her, aims to contribute to the country, socially and politically.

Recently, Khanal talked to Nepal Live Today about why she thinks beauty pageants are important and what success means to her, among other things.

How has your life changed after winning the title?

I feel I now have more responsibilities to shoulder. I am confident of every step I’d take in my life. I want to set an example in society that we women have the potential of doing so many things if we get a platform to showcase our talent and abilities.

The crown of Miss SEE Icon 2021 has come to me through much hard work and dedication. My crown is my source of inspiration because it reminds me of my determination and passion. After winning the pageant many people have showered me with love and blessings. They have set high expectations for me. And I shall make sure to fulfill those expectations.

Why are beauty pageants necessary in a country like Nepal?

Nepali society is highly male-dominated. Women are still fighting for their basic rights; many don’t even have access to education; many don’t even know about the beauty pageants happening around. For Nepal to get good recognition in the world and win prestigious pageants such as Miss World and Miss Universe, I believe we need to give opportunities to all the girls and women out there and bring to light talents from diverse backgrounds.

Beauty pageants are very much important because it plays a vital role to build a positive society. Beauty pageants help a lot to groom the students and develop their personalities. There are still some narrow-minded people in our society who discriminate against people based on caste, who feel that girls and women are just made to serve the home and get locked in a kitchen. And still, people with a stereotypical mindset think that beauty pageants just mean modeling and wearing short dresses. But beauty pageants are not just about modeling; we learn so many things throughout the event, like how to present ourselves as a public figure, and how to interact with the audience, among other things. Beauty pageants are very much important in a developing country like Nepal.

What inspired you to participate in beauty pageants?

I have always loved to push my limits. And exploring my inner skills has always been my priority. The beauty pageant helped me a lot to know the real me and my capabilities.

From earlier days, I was aware of my weaknesses and strengths but after winning two beauty pageants—Junior Battle 2017 and Miss SEE Icon 2021—I am more confident of the steps I take in my life. My dream has always been to be the voice of the voiceless; my confidence, propensity to learn and experience things led me to participate in this beauty pageant.

How do you define success?

Success is the inner feeling of satisfaction. Success is not about having a lavish lifestyle or fame. For me, success is the happiness that I get after finding solutions to the problems of the needy. It is the feeling you get when your work is a reason for someone’s smile.