‘Modelling is a disrespectful profession.’ ‘Modelling is a hobby only, and that is all it should ever be.’
Being a model has received paramount scepticism. Coming from an Asian background, I have seen the criticism towards modelling as a profession. Luckily for me, my family have always been supportive in my hobbies and endeavours. But that does not mean that the stigma around modelling does not remain. I was out shopping when I was first talent spotted by a scout. The excitement yet fear around this offer of becoming a model was overwhelming at such a young age and of course my parents were instantly worried. ‘Make sure you are not wearing revealing clothing.’ ‘Make sure you look respectful.’
At the time of becoming a model, I was still in school. Studying hard and becoming Deputy Head Girl of my school also gave me a lot of confidence to socialise, meet new people and push myself to achieve my best. And this is when I realised how I can use modelling to my advantage. When taking part in beauty pagaents I realised they do not accept people based wholly on their appearance. Beauty pagaents require key attributes from a person where they will not only become a recognisable face in society, but also a role model. And I realised this is how to reach out to people.
During my school and sixth form I was Deputy Head Girl and Sixth Form Captain. I regularly, and still do, take part in community, charity and voluntary work and aimed to excel in all areas of my life. Being a model, for me, has never been about achieving any sort of fame, or being in showbiz and in the limelight. It has been to make a difference. I haved used my modelling career to show other aspiring models that they can still pursue a career in modelling without having to resort to disrespecting their body or themselves. Modelling does not have to involve exploitation, and most importantly sexual exploitation, where women are expected to act in certain ways in order to get further in their careers. Now studying at university, working as an ambassador for my university, continuing to partake in community events, and pursuing a career in Journalism, I have still never done any kind of modelling where I have worn revealing clothes that would make my family feel ashamed. I have appreciated the opportunity of using modelling as a chance to shine from the inside.