Riding off into the sunset on a bike on her wedding day is just the sort of thing you’d expect from her. And if you thought bikes is where it ended, cars, horses, adventure sports—and hell, even guns—are what give her a rush. Convention, meet Gul Panag.
Actor, Miss India, activist, politician, traveler - which role do you think suits you best?
These days it's activist and entrepreneur. Winning the Miss India pageant gave me a platform to follow my dreams and contribute to the causes I believe in, in a more public way.
You've been vocal about many causes. What do you feel most strongly about?
Everything to do with gender issues—justice, equality and more. It's important to begin a dialogue about these issues so that people have it at the forefront of their awareness. This will lead to much-needed change in society.
Your thoughts on feminism?
Feminism is equality of all sexes at all levels of society and economy. Feminism is about giving the power of choice to all. This has nothing to do with man-hating. It's about looking beyond a person's gender and recognizing and respecting them for who they are.
Tell us about your latest entrepreneurial venture, Dafni. Why did you decide to collaborate with them?
Dafni is a revolutionary hair straightening brush, which is a must-have for women on-the-go. It promises salon-finished straight hair in a matter of minutes. It's received an overwhelming response globally. It was my personal conviction after trying the product that led me to invest in it and bring it to India. Women today are multitasking and busier than ever before. We need quick and effective grooming tools that help keep pace with demanding lifestyles. This is something the brand addresses beautifully.
Do you follow a strict beauty regimen?
Yes, there are a few things I always keep in mind: 1) Exercise: Being fit releases endorphins, clears clogged pores and makes you glow. 2) Eating healthy: What you eat directly affects how your skin and body look. So make good choices! 3) Drinking lots of water: This is essential and most people neglect it. 4) Cleansing: No matter how tired you are at the end of the day, always cleanse makeup and grime off your skin. 5) Using sunscreen: It protects your skin. Years later you'll thank your stars you used it!
Three beauty essentials you never leave home without
Neutrogena Moisturizer with SPF, DAFNI for my hair and eye pencil from Sephora
Beauty icon you would like to meet one day
By Shweta Vepa