INDIA ABROAD May 26, 2017 34 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
By Bhargavi Kulkarni
hhavi Verg has proven
yet again that persever-
ance and determination
are the keys to success.
On May 14, Verg, 20,
who won the Miss New
Jersey title last October, became
first runner-up in the Miss USA
pageant, which was won by Miss
D.C., Kara McCullough.
The Edison, New Jersey,
woman’s father, Ravi Verg, told
India Abroad he believed the
decision would make his daughter stronger and more determined.
Verg herself concurred.
“Winning on such a platform as
[the] Miss USA pageant not only
earns fame and recognition but
also a voice to speak about the
causes that I believe in and the
things that I want to do in my
life,” she said.
Challenge and hard work is
something Verg is familiar with.
She won the Miss USA New
Jersey contest last year after
three attempts. But her previous
two losses, she said, taught her
where her strengths lie and how
important it is to have a platform
to advocate for what she believes
“I was very upset,” she said,
recalling her first loss for Miss
USA New Jersey pageant, after
she had been fourth runner-up in
the Miss New Jersey Teen USA as
a high school senior in Edison.
“Since I did well the first time
without any coaching or experi-
ence, going in to the adult pag-
eant, I thought: I’ve got this. I’ll
totally do well. And when I
On May 14, Verg had several
supporters, both at the venue at
Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and
on social media.
On Twitter, many seemed to
be rooting for Verg to take the
title, especially after McCullough,
a scientist, referred to healthcare
as a privilege, not a right. When
asked if she considers herself a
feminist, McCullough said she
doesn’t like to use the word.
Verg, however, drew praise for
her answer when she was asked
if she considers herself a feminist.
“Feminism is striving for
equality and I do consider myself
a feminist. I think it’s a miscon-
ception when people believe that
feminism is women being better
than men. But it’s really not. It’s
a fight for equality,” she said.
Speaking to the Daily Targum,
Rutgers University’s student
paper, Verg said she believed in
the power of five P’s — Proper
Planning Prevents Poor
Performance — something she
learned at Rutgers Business
Verg, who is studying market-
ing and Spanish at Rutgers
University, competed against 50
other women in the pageant,
which until 2015 was owned by
Donald Trump. It is now owned
by William Morris Endeavor.
At Rutgers, Verg is also a marketing assistant-director in the
Rutgers University Programming
Association, and is involved in
Women BUILD, a group that
helps prepare women leaders in
Born in India, Verg came to
the U.S. at 4.
She loves visit-
ing India regu-
larly to see her
and the extend-
and is commit-
ted to fitness
Verg is an
and hopes that through her certi-
fication, she can urge others to
take better care of themselves
both physically and mentally.
“Authentic, zealous and ami-
able” were the three words she
used to describe herself. She also
considers herself a strong propo-
nent of female empowerment
Besides her plans to work
towards promoting women’s
education and preventing child
abuse, she wants to own a business in the health and fitness or
The top 10 finalists compete in the evening gown competition at the 2017 Miss USA pageant at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 14. From left, Miss Alaska USA 2017 Alyssa London,
Miss Illinois USA 2017 Whitney Wandland, Miss New York USA 2017 Hannah Lopa, Miss South Carolina USA 2017 Megan Gordon, Miss District of Columbia USA 2017 Kara McCullough, Miss California USA
2017 India Williams, Miss Tennessee USA 2017 Miss Allee-Sutton Hethcoat, Miss Missouri USA 2017 Bayleigh Dayton, Miss New Jersey USA 2017 Chhavi Verg and Miss Minnesota USA 2017 Meridith Gould.
Below left, Verg during the swimsuit competition. Below right, Verg smiles after being named one of the top three finalists.
Chhavi Verg runner-up as Miss USA
Her Crowning Glory