TWO years ago, Sabah-born Natalie Prabha was scouted while walking along the streets of Kuala Lumpur, and was invited to participate in the Malaysian Fashion Week event.
Her exotic looks drew the attention of many fashion designers, and that is how the leggy lass got her first break in the world of modelling.
theSun recently caught up with this up-and-coming 26-year-old model.
What do you love about your job as a model?
“I love the fact that I can use the creative side of me. As a model, you have to be a chameleon. Some days, you have to be demure, and other days you have to be tough. There is a lot of thought that goes into a pose that you are required to do. You are almost like a silent movie actor who has to bring out a character.”
Who are some of the international models you admire?
“Linda Evangelista. She brings out the best of whatever style you put her in. The other models I admire are Adwoa Aboah and Emily Ratajkowski. I love the way Adwoa walks and carries herself. Emily has an amazing look, and she fights for human rights. She is a very smart woman.”
Describe your childhood.
My father is an Indian from Melaka and my mother is a Chinese Kadazan from Sabah. I was born and raised in Kota Kinabalu.
“I grew up with two different cultures that contrast each other. For example, in the Hindu culture, when you have a death in the family, you have to be a vegetarian for the next seven days. In the Kadazan culture, when you have a death in the family, you do the opposite. You cannot eat anything green, and you are encouraged to eat meat. But I do not have any complaints about the cultures I grew up with. In fact, I love my diversity.”
I heard you are a vegan. Tell us more about this.
“I became a vegan when I was 21. I wanted to have a healthy lifestyle, and I did not want to participate in animal cruelty. Veganism also helps to preserve Mother Nature. I want to see a change in the world, and it has to start with the person I see in the mirror.
“Most people assume that if you are a vegan, you are eating boring food. That is wrong. I want to change this perception. I am always coming up with recipes showing how vegan food can be exciting and tasty. I post my cooking videos on social media.
“One of my dreams is to come up with a cook book where I can share my vegan recipes. I also have a dream where I want to run a café that serves vegan food.”
You always emphasise on a healthy lifestyle on your social media. What motivated you to do so?
“My eldest brother died from brain cancer. He was only 24 and I was only 16 when this happened. He was always stressed, and always eating unhealthy food. He did not take care of himself. I was close to him and it was traumatic for me. This inspired me to take better care of myself.”
What are your views on plastic surgery?
“I have nothing against plastic surgery. If it makes you feel better about yourself, then you should do it. But you should not have plastic surgery to please other people.
“I find plastic surgery to be too expensive. I believe beauty comes from inside. If you are healthy, it will show on your face.”
How do you relax?
“I love going to spas and getting massages. I love going to beaches and walking on the sand.
“For some strange reason, grocery shopping is therapeutic for me. I also enjoy doing yoga. My hometown Kota Kinabalu is the place I love going to for relaxation.”
What advice can you give young women who want to be models?
“You will be constantly judged for your appearance. For example, I have lost count of the number of times that I have been told to lose my weight. But I do not let myself get pushed around. I have the confidence not to allow myself to starve.
“There are clients who love the way I look. I will lose them if I become too thin.
“I think the modelling world is slowly changing for the better. It is slowly accepting all kinds of body shapes and all kinds of skin colour. I love the diversity that is slowly entering the modelling world.”