MEGHA NARAYAN and SHILPA HINDUJA talk to our very own fashionistas to find out how they balance college and work.
(In pic: Models Yusra, Sahithya and Mehndi)
“Models now promote themselves, think like businesswomen and diversify their careers by doing other things as well,” says Tyra Banks.Our own queen bee, Aishwarya Rai kick-started her career as a walking mannequin, and she admits that her mission went beyond just winning the Miss World pageant; she wanted to put India on the map through being chosen as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Here, in the city of temples and malli poo, though, modelling has traversed the boundary of a profession. It is a hobby for some, a passion for others, a quick and easy source of pocket money for most, and a confidence booster for a few. What makes this even more intriguing is that most of our Chennai girls pursue this calling, alongside their respective subjects of choice in various colleges around the city.
“Modelling is not about just posing for the camera rather, you deal with different people, different photographers and designers every day. This also helps you learn a lot and work your way through college. It also gives you the satisfaction of doing something that you like besides academics. One gets a lot of exposure at an early age that helps deal with the ways of the real world. For me, it aided in rediscovering myself,” admits Yusra Javed Chaudhry, a second year college student.
The widely touted “conservative” city has shed its jackets to accommodate those who are willing to gaze into the crowd, showcasing the works of some of the most creative designers in the country while thinking about submissions the next day.
“Though modelling has always been my passion, I have my priorities right. I would never give precedence to modelling over college. It takes a lot to go on stage and deal with the criticism that each one faces in the world of fashion. This teaches you to disassociate yourself and learn to formulate your own image and when you do that, it gives you immense confidence to tackle anything that comes your way in college or otherwise. Also, you get a decent amount of pay and the work timings are ideal for college students. It gives me a sense of pride and independence that sometimes I can pay for my own college fees,” says Sahithya Jagannathan, model and college student.
The city has also accepted with open arms, educational institutions that nurture a woman’s ability to make it big in the world of fashion and media. This extra bit of knowledge combined with the new found thirst for money and fame seems to have propelled a number of college students to the ramp and sets.
“I was 17 when I began my career in modelling. The reason I decided to take up modelling along with college education was because I had an acute interest to study and model. I didn’t want to give up either and so took it up as a part time job to strike a balance. Besides, considering the course I was doing which was Visual Communication, modelling was sure to reap me some benefits. Modelling and media go hand in hand and engaging in both proved to be a win-win situation for me. It helped me build contacts, added on to my profile and at the end of the day I was glad I didn’t waste time,” says Mehndi Jashnani, former college student.
Having just embarked into their twenties, these go-getter women ooze confidence on screen and on stage. It is known that beauty infuses conceit, but that is not what most of these girls abide by. When these young models step in to the limelight; the admiration, the attention and the awe they see in most eyes, gives them a burst of unbridled confidence. Overall, it is great to know that Chennai is home to these young girls who ably blend both their passions to reach the pinnacle of success.
Shilpa and Megha are students of M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women.
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