Another year, another cycle of Asia’s Next Top Model and the drama that comes with the popular modelling show. This year round, we sat down with the two local models who are representing Malaysia during the competition and talked to them about what it takes to be a top model.
Women's Health (WH): Tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do.
Alicia Amin (AA): My name is Alicia Amin, I’m 22 in June, and I had to put my psychology and social work degree in Melbourne on hold to be here.
Shikin Gomez (SG): Hi! I'm Shikin Gomez, 25-years-old, and I'm a full time model representing Malaysia in the upcoming Asia's Next Top Model Cycle 5.
WH: Who are your biggest motivators and female role models?
AA: I look up to influential women who live for a good cause like Amal Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Rihanna. One thing in common about these women is that they are very involved in their causes while being in the spotlight. Even through the lens of the media they’ve always been gracious and real.
SG: My biggest motivator would be myself. I also look up to Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dunn as female role models.
WH: What’s your quickest pick-me-up during a hectic day of shoots and go-sees?
AA: Cuppa cold brew or batch brew.
SG: A good latte.
WH: What are your fitness routines like?
AA: Right now, it’s a little rough—I moved back to Malaysia just a couple of weeks ago. I enjoy walking and running. Living in Melbourne, staying active was easy. Now that I’m in the land of no pedestrian paths, I’ve started training twice a week, doing cardio (running or horse riding), and I'll play around on my pole when I’m feeling flexible again.
SG: I try to fit in as much exercise as I can here and there, a few sit ups and v-sits before bed; that sort of thing. I prefer sports than actually being in the gym. I also enjoy yoga.
WH: What do you do during your down time?
AA: In Melbourne, I used to read and play with my cats. I haven’t had any down time since I got back to KL but I can foresee myself spending it at a mamak over teh o ais limau kosong, while catching up with some mates.
SG: Catch up on my sleep! Sometimes, when the week is packed with shoots and shows, the amount of sleep I get is pretty low. So I tend to reset my body clock to start the new week.
WH: Favourite Malaysian fashion designers?
AA: Afiq M, Alia Bastamam and Pearly Wong.
SG: So many! I've always had my eyes on Wanpa, Afiq M, Syomir Izwa, TSyahmi, Alia Bastamam and Ezzati Amira.
WH: Best thing and place to eat at when you’re looking for a healthy wholesome meal?
AA: A home-cooked or prepped meal. There is nothing healthier or more comforting than making your own food. You control all the portions, the content of sugar, salt, etc. Grocery shopping is also much cheaper than eating out and cooking is the best skill to have. I say this because I’ve been back in Malaysia for over a week and I still don’t know what’s up, haha.
SG: The salad options at DASH by Nutmeg in Bangsar Village. Also, cooking at home is definitely the best way to eat.
WH: Do you think you have to be an extrovert to be on that kind of reality show?
AA: I think you have to be comfortable around cameras. TV is all about variety and every diverse group will include someone relatively introverted.
SG: In my opinion, it’s good to be a little bit of both (introverted and extroverted). We all need to be able to express ourselves but also be able to be calm and collected.
WH: Top three items you’d never leave the house without that you also brought to the model house?
AA: My phone, some lip balm and tissues—for hygiene purpose or to wipe away tears.
SG: A pair of sunnies, powerbank and headphones.
WH: What’s your best advice to women looking to get into the same line of work, or even to join AsNTM cycle 6?
AA: Modelling isn’t an inclusive industry, though fashion may be. It is about having the “right look” for the “right person” and everyone will be generous with their judgment. Persistence, professionalism and hard work will only pay off if you take care of yourself and have lots of fun along the way.
SG: My best advice is to develop a thick skin—and do it quick. I feel like models cannot take criticism to heart or it might be their biggest downfall. Also be humble; always remember where you started from. As Drake would say, “started from the bottom, now we're here”.
WH: What do you think you brought to the show that no one else had?
AA: I think I brought kindness and some sort of glue that most of us (including myself) weren’t prepared for. I personally got along with everyone and because of that, I became the mediator for some things. Now we have a group chat of 14 girls and it’s really active. We even have plans to fly to Bali to watch the finale together as a group, haha!
SG:My dank personality that some people might cringe at and also being really confident. Haha!
WH: Has being on the show changed you as a person and if so, how?
AA: I don’t look at reality TV the same way anymore, and I think that’s all of us.
SG: Yes! I now have 13 other girls I can call friends! On a serious note, I have learned so much that I would never have if it was not for this show. It’s an eye-opener for sure.
WH: How do you define success?
AA: Success is when you make things. As long as you got up and made something, you are successful even if it goes wrong the first time around.
SG: Success is when you wake up, and smile. That's when you know you are happy, and being happy is the best success in life.
WH: If you could shoot any campaign in the world for any brand, what would it be and why?
AA: I would like to shoot a Burberry campaign. Burberry has always been timeless and straightforward.
SG: I want to do either Moschino, or Balmain. The biggest reason is mainly because I want to work with their creative directors.
WH: What are your favourite sports or outdoor activities to do?
AA: I like having “adventure time”—exploring the hiking trails, ranges, waterfalls and beaches of the area I am in. I covered a few national parks in Queensland, NSW and Victoria while I was in Melbourne, and I’d like to keep it up and do more of that here in Malaysia. Other than that, I’ve been riding horses for 15 years.
SG: Fishing! I've tried it once, and I was hooked! No pun intended.
WH: What do you think is an important quality to have as a person when you’re in this line of work?
AA: Patience and thick skin.
SG: Patience and discipline.
WH: If you weren’t an aspiring model, what line of work would you be in?
AA: I am on my way to becoming a human rights lawyer.
SG: Probably something in media. I studied Communications and Media before starting out as a model.
WH: Which of the contestants in the model house are most likely to…
…do 50 sit ups the fastest
…be the first person to finish a whole bowl of pasta
AA: Anjelica Santillian
…tear up at a minor sad scene in a movie
AA: Me (lol)
…start their own natural skincare line
…shave off their eyebrows for a dare
AA: Nameetha or Dorothy