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Interview: Aimee Rose Cheng-Bradshaw

Written by
Benita Lee

Asia’s Next Top Model is back for round three, and the sole representative from our sunny island is 19-year-old British-Chinese Aimee Rose Cheng-Bradshaw. No stranger to modelling, she’s been in front of the camera since the age of 13, when she posed for local jewellery label Chameleon. But then school took priority, and her passion was put on the back burner until about a year and a half ago, when she returned to modelling full-time. Of course, competing for the coveted title of Asia’s Next Top Model among contestants from countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Indonesia raises the stakes to a whole other level. Here, she bares all about her experiences as a high fashion model.

She has never gone through any professional training for modelling: ‘It kind of comes with the job – the more practice you have, the better you are. Tapping into the creative process during a shoot is important, because sometimes you have to put yourselves in the shoes of a different character to portray the feel the photographer wants. That comes with practice. In a way, modelling is like acting. ’Cause you really have to send a message through your pictures to make people understand what you’re trying to say.’

Her little sis persuaded her to join Asia’s Next Top Model: ‘I thought this would be a really great opportunity to break into the high fashion industry. I have a very commercial face, so I tend to get a lot of print ads rather than editorial. It’s fun, but it doesn’t tap into the creative process like high fashion does.’

She grew up with three sisters, but living in a house full of 14 women was harder than she thought: ‘The experience was stressful. It was definitely like being in a pressure cooker. Every movement you make is caught on tape. That was the biggest challenge for me: being in front of a camera all the time. But I think we were lucky enough that we all bonded. Some really great friendships were forged, so I’m very grateful for that.’

Criticism and rejection aren’t new to her: ‘[People have told me] I wasn’t tall enough, that my face was too sweet. I wasn’t high fashion enough. It’s not really something I can change. That used to always get me down, but that’s why I’m so thankful for the show. It shows whoever’s watching that I can be fierce, and hopefully, I’ll make it into the high fashion industry. Being the only representative from Singapore put a lot of pressure on me, but at the same time, I found it beneficial. It gave me the extra push and drive to make it to each subsequent week and do the best I can. ’Cause I want to make my country proud, and I can’t rely on anyone else to do that besides myself.’

Her experience on the show was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: ‘It was a very unforgettable experience. I mean, how many people can say they’ve been personally mentored by Georgina Wilson, Joey Mead King and Alex Perry, right? I’m just really grateful for the opportunity, ’cause the lessons I learnt on the show were priceless. They gave us a lot of tips, like to stay true to who you are, and to become the best model that you can be. There’s always room for improvement. There’s never a mark that you hit and you think, “I’ve achieved the best.” There are always going to be people who will criticise you, but if you use it to your advantage and as an opportunity to grow, you’ll become a better model every day.’

She’s already looking beyond modelling for the future: ‘Modelling is definitely not an end goal. It’s a stepping stone. It’s something I absolutely love doing, but I also hope to build myself up as a brand. To have my own shoe line and skin care line.’

Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 3 is on every Wednesday from Mar 25 at 8.45pm on StarWorld (Singtel TV Ch 301, StarHub TV Ch 501).

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