REIGNING Miss Valentines Empire 263 Chantel Monalisa Phedde (22) says confidence and self-belief have helped her cope with criticism as a model.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style, Phedde, who launched her modelling career at the age of 18, said although it had been a bumpy road, inspiration from peers enabled her to overcome obstacles.
“My journey has been tough, mixed with both negative and positive elements. Although modelling is a very fascinating endeavour, as fascinating as it is, it also requires never-ending efforts,” she said.
She added: “I have faced financial challenges to meet all the requirements as modelling is a very expensive profession for one to look on point, classy and impeccable, but I never gave up.”
Phedde said her modelling journey, that started as a joke, had now mutated into reality.
“It all started as a joke as I loved modelling so much, but I had no confidence to go for it. I was shy and always thought that if I became a model no one would take me seriously, but with family and friends’ support, I managed to step out and here I am, Miss Valentine 2022,”she said.
Phedde bemoaned negative comments attached to modelling.
“Modelling is an art and talent which is just the same as other disciplines in entertainment. Many people label us prostitutes who are only there to attract men with our looks, which is all wrong,” she said.
“I once encountered such comments and I thought to myself, if I don’t prove them wrong then who will?
“If I don’t do what I am good at then what will I do? So, I assured myself that I was going to continue doing my thing with much integrity and love with the help of my sister.”
She said there was need to empower society to deal with misconception attached to models through campaigns.
“As a nation, we have to change our perception towards models. We need to create an environment that gives room to every talent. A lot of girls want to be models, but because of the negativity attached to it, some fail to chase their dreams,” she said.
“Let’s encourage and support each other without stereotyping.
“I think there should be campaigns where we enlighten society that there is decency in modelling and it is a good profession through which one can earn a living from.”
Phedde said there was great talent in the local pageantry.
“The economic situation has affected our modelling industry, but if it stabilises the industry can actually bloom,” she said.
Off the modelling ramp, Phedde is a tourism and hospitality student and has featured in some music videos which include Wemberi Wemberi by Baba Harare, Amaimwana by Teeyoke and is set to feature on Elsha’s Ndezvako Uriwega production.