Manju Bangalore, the reigning Miss Oregon USA 2023, is not your average beauty queen. She’s a physicist, aspiring astronaut, writer, and two-time nonprofit founder. This Indian-American model is also a scientist-astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM, a renowned aerospace research and education program.
In 2022, Manju Bangalore made waves when she became a Swim Search finalist, showcasing her diverse talents. She was photographed in the picturesque Dominican Republic by Yu Tsai and even graced the Swimsuit runway during Miami Swim Week.
Being featured in the Sports Illustrated family was a significant milestone for her. Manju expressed immense gratitude, stating that she had never felt more accepted by any brand or organization in her life. She emphasized that her body, personality, and platform were all reaffirmed by this experience.
One of her core missions is to challenge the stereotypes surrounding women in STEM fields. Manju is determined to break free from the confines of being labeled and to encourage women to be multidimensional. She firmly believes that women in STEM should not be limited to a single role and is actively working to change this narrative.
As the 2019 Miss World California, Manju Bangalore continues to inspire others with her journey. She’s a beacon of hope for aspiring women, especially those from underrepresented communities. Through her remarkable achievements and unyielding spirit, she reminds the world that women can pursue their dreams and defy societal expectations, regardless of their background or field of interest.
Re-reported from the article originally published in Swimsuit Sports Illustrated.