Tania Sim, model
By Jude Toyat @judetbpseeds
TANIA SIM first caught my eye when I was covering the Miss Cheongsam Malaysia beauty pageant recently. A local model born in Kuching, I found that she had unique features which I considered extremely beautiful. On top of that, she’s fluent in English, which made me keen on interviewing her.
Hello there, Tania. Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on winning the 2nd runner up in Miss Cheongsam 2014. Tell me more about yourself.
I’m 20 years old, and I am of mixed heritage: Chinese (my father) and Filipino (my mother). I graduated with a Certificate in Business Management from College Laila Taib in Kuching in 2012.
What made you interested in the modeling industry and what made you believe you are fit to be a model?
Modeling has always been my interest since I was young and I have been interested in this as my career since this is my greatest passion. I believe that I am fit to be a model because I have the height (170cm) and the body shape that most modeling agencies look for in their models.
Height and size does not matter when it comes to modeling in Sarawak. But for international standard, one must be at least 170cm.
Brilliant! So tell me, how were you “discovered” and how your modeling career all started?
I was talent scouted by Alaric Soh back in 2012. He inspires and encourages me to be a model. He saw the potential of modeling in me. I am very thankful to him for giving me the opportunity to be groomed by a very successful beauty pageant organiser and to work with him as well.
Have you ever attended modeling courses before?
Yes I have. I attended modeling and beauty courses with Alaric Soh at his Beauty Academy here in Kuching. I also took grooming courses with him too.
I believe there are many kinds of modeling. What’s your particular interest and why?
As a model, one must be versatile and prepared to work in any conditions. However, I like runway modeling (fashion modeling).
What has been your favorite shoot/campaign/work to date?
When I was the model for Nikon and Sony photo shoots in Kuching.
One question I think most people want to know is how much models make?
It depends but on average, a runway show can fetch between RM200 to RM500.
In your own opinion, is modeling an easy job or more strenuous than people realise and how so?
If you are good at it and if it is your passion; I don’t think it is strenuous. However, being a model, one must be committed, and to stay on top one has to train and work very hard for it.
Sometimes the modeling industry gets a bad rep with the jealousy and egos encountered between other models and agencies. Is this true for you too? Have you managed to tough it out and make good friends?
Yes, it is true, sometimes models especially the lady models likes to compete with each other and to be better. I think this is normal in any industry. However, it is not that bad as one may think. We may have differences, but when it comes to work or assignment, we are always professional in our approach and work.
So, in your opinion, what do you think is the hardest part about being in the industry?
The hardest part of a modeling industry would be to get people to pay for professional models.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a model?
The best thing probably is to have the chance to wear designer clothes, while the worst is people with wrong perceptions being a model is bad.
What’s a typical day for you?
I am the kind of person who loves to dance and does lots of exercises at the gym. I also eat nutritious food most of the time and my favorite dish is Ayam Penyet. I believe that I am a trendsetter, trendy and elegant in fashion, and I do seek out my inspirations from listening to music and dancing.
Give us 5 facts about you that people may not know.
I am friendly, helpful, passionate, committed, and talented in singing and dancing.
It is often said that a model should have good personality. According to you, what are the traits required for good personality?
The most important is that you should always carry yourself well in public; the moment you step out of your house, you are being judged, whether you like it or not. Right attitude, gracious behavior, emotionally stable, well groomed, warmth, with great sense of humor.
What personality traits do you think you have that should make you a good model?
Well-groomed and emotionally stable, which most ladies do not have.
How would your friends describe you? How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly?
My friends describe me as sexy and elegant. I do communicate with people usually by phones. I am very passionate and they think I am too friendly as well.
What are the 5 things you can’t live without?
My parents, love, friends, fashion modeling and my phone.
What’s your motto or life advice that you live by?
• Do what you love, and love what you do.
• To be successful model, learn the best, from the best, and be the Best.
If you weren’t modeling, what would you see yourself doing?
I might be a dancer.
What’s your favorite song/movie/music at the moment?
Romance movies and pop music.
What do you know about the advertisement industry, advertising psychology and photography?
Advertising industry does have a tremendous impact on people’s desires and models are often used to portrait/sell/promote the products. Unfortunately there is no demand for modeling in advertising industry in Sarawak. Therefore, I can’t comment much on this subject.
Are modeling conventions and searches a good place to start a modeling career or are they a total rip-off?
Definitely a modeling career is not a rip-off, but then there are many bogus modeling agencies so one must be careful. For example, in 2012 there were a search for many models for a certain fashion week in Kuching, but it turned out to be bogus. Many models were cheated by this bogus modeling agency from outside Sarawak.
Do you have any advice as to how to ensure good pictures every time?
Learn to pose confidently, have the right facial expression and body language.
What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish as a model, and how do you see yourself progress in this field?
My ultimate goal as a model is to become the Top Model in Sarawak. The titles which I have won include the Miss Star Sarawak 2013 and the subsidiary title for Best Talent. Besides that, I won the title of Star Top Model Sarawak 2014 in January and the subsidiary title for Best Catwalk. In 10 years’ time, I hope I can run my own modeling and beauty grooming agency in Sarawak.
What is your advice to those who want to pursue their dream in today’s modeling world?
First, before stepping into the modeling industry, one must understand that modeling is a very demanding profession. Besides this, one must be confident and be well prepared to wear any clothes. To be a professional model, one must be prepared for criticism and so on.
Thank you Tania, for providing us with your brilliant answers.
So, that was my interview with Tania Sim. I hope that this interview will provide some insights into the modeling world that most of the women, not to mention some guys, are striving to get into it.
Some may think that it is not up to their expectations, and maybe some may have wrong perceptions about modeling. Whatever it may be, my advice is to always seek the right people and get to know them well, their work, their personality, their characteristics and such, before starting to judge blindly.