A Third Culture Kid’s Guide to Modelling

So, you want to be a  model? In Hong Kong and Singapore, half-Asian models are now often picked for runway shows that were once invaded by tall blondes. Eurasians may possess several genetic advantages that lead to greater health and, as a result, enhanced attractiveness. There is a theory that Eurasians seem more attractive due to their genetic advantages. It is in our primal nature to seek out the best mate after all. Genetic diversity, or heterozygosity, leads to less diseases. Could this be why Brazilians tend to be popular in the modelling industry?

As a Third Culture Kid, you are going to have to deal with a little more issues compared to your other peers. Before you strap on those heels and become a globe trotter, have a look at the advice below. (Yes, we are beginning with a couple of lamentations but we know you’ve all been there!)

  1. “Where are you from?”

Ah yes, the most common yet most annoying question. What do you mean? The city I was born in or my actual ethnic mix? That being said, I do enjoy the look of disbelief when I state that I am from Hong Kong (I have an ostensibly gwailo/bule appearance).

  1. “You speak very good English for someone that comes from HongKong / Jakarta / Manila / Singapore / Bangkok etc.”

Yes, those cities all have international schools. English tends to be our mother tongue, believe it or not. It’s actually mind boggling how there are still some people out there that don’t realize that these are modern cities. Once, to my horror, I heard an individual ask: “Isn’t Hong Kong in Japan?”

  1. The Eurasian look tends to be used more in the commercial sector, not in high fashion.

There are positive as well as negative aspects to this. Commercial shoots bring in the most money. When it comes to high fashion shoots, designers prefer to use models with distinct and original looks. Mixed kids tend to be good looking in general, however, ethnically pure models tend to have certain features that allow the audience to tell them apart. Usually, various nationalities are interlaced in fashion shoots to create an even more dramatic look.

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  1. Kick start your career in Asia.

It is no secret that Eurasians are in high demand in Asian countries. Make the most of it and you can try to go international once you have a strong and diverse portfolio. Each city is a different stepping stone. Pick the ones that value your features the most. 

  1. You will be able to fit into various cultures very easily.

With your upbringing, you have an advantage when it comes to adapting to new environments. You most likely changed homes and schools several times during your childhood. You probably feel the most at home when you are travelling! 

  1. Your knack at picking up languages will come in handy.

You are immediately adored if you speak your client’s language. 

  1. You get the best of both worlds.

Not gonna lie, it is kinda nice to be considered exotic anywhere you go.

  1. Don’t compare yourself to other non-mixed models.

They are made for a completely different market. We are all equal so don’t despair if they get chosen for a job that you wanted.

  1. It is a gateway to other career prospects in Asia.

Modelling is an amazing way to get into acting or to be chosen as a TV host. You need to be social media savvy and learn to develop an original as well as likeable character for your audience.

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  1. This can eventually lead to international success.

If your dream is to go global, our advice is that you view each city as a stepping stone. Start off in Jakarta/Manila/Bangkok, then make your way up to Singapore. Spend a very brief time in Hong Kong then move on to Europe. Then, your final step is the US. Of course, this is not a rule set in stone, feel free to skip a few stages and power through if you have the courage to do so. Self-belief and confidence will take you a long way!

 

So there it is. Good luck! And don’t forget to have some fun during your journey.

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