Sukhi Mann tells us about life as a plus size model
One of the most controversial debates of the fashion world, whether it’s Asian or Western is that size zero is the hottest statement to make. It’s become a stereotype for aspiring models that look up to famous models that dominate the size zero lifestyle. But is size zero really hot … or just dated? One woman set to change this stereotype is aspiring model Sukhi Mann, who believes ‘If you have curves flaunt them…because curves are beautiful too’!!! Entertainment Journalist Parminder Kaur caught up with the beauty to find out more.
What was your inspiration for becoming a model?
I always wanted to become a model from a very young age. I've always been fashion conscious and I have an extreme passion for make-up. I like to present myself well and keep up-to-date on latest trends and beauty products. I've often had flattering compliments of fellow colleagues and friends and even been told I should get into modelling. It's always been a dream and now that I’m actually getting a taste for it, it’s the most wonderful feeling.
Tell us about your modelling journey
The journey began a year ago when I went to London for a test shoot for modelling. It was a success and I was given a collection of images I used to start my own portfolio. I then collaborated with a photographer who I've known a while. It was very exciting indeed and he focused on an arts and culture theme, which suited me perfectly! My photos then became part of two large exhibitions, that he created called Saraswati Mist & Light - I used the images from this experience to also add to my portfolio.
My next step was to broaden my experience and search for opportunities. That's where I came across a modelling networking site where I uploaded my portfolio. It got a variety of responses from photographers and make-up artists wanting to work with me. I did many shoots and got great feedback and references. Then I came across Richard Whitelocks, my current photographer who I now work with. We started shooting this summer and it's been fantastic, as we work so well together and I've gained so much confidence in working with him. He's such an inspiration to me and from the shoots we've done, each one has been based on a different theme. We have many more ideas and shoots planned.
How did you feel when you did your first ever photo shoot?
I had a mixture of emotions running through my mind at the time of my first shoot. I felt very excited, yet nervous at the same time too. It's very different watching others model or reading up about it until you are actually in the spotlight doing it yourself. Once I got into it though, I was fine and found that as the shoot progressed my confidence lifted and I started to loosen up and enjoy it much more, which led to pleasing results.
Who was your role model as a child and how did that help you being a model?
As a child I was a bit of a tomboy and didn't think twice about modelling until my later teen years. I was very much into Bollywood movies and fashion the likes of Kajol and Madhuri Dixit were my favourite actresses. I loved the way they portrayed their elegant looks and they really stood out for me which inspired me to follow their fashion and beauty trends.
How do you feel about the controversy of the size zero debate in the industry?
Size zero is a no for me. I portray myself as a naturally curvaceous young women and I don't see any flaw in that whatsoever. I feel the hype over size zero has become more of an issue over the years, but I think slowly people and the industry are adjusting and accepting that it's completely fine for curvy woman to show off their beauty just as much as it is for a size zero model.
Bollywood beauties such as Sonakshi Sinha, Vidya Balan and Paraneeti Chopra, who happily flaunt their curves are today the most notable actresses, do you think the size zero tag will eventually fade?
Yes. I strongly believe this will eventually be the case going forward. We are living in a world now where beauty and fashion is at the forefront of many areas, and it's being shown that you are and can still be seen as being beautiful no matter what shape or size you are. The above named actresses certainly know how to show of their true beauty.
If you were not a model, what other profession would you be doing instead?
I've always had a strong passion for beauty and make-up. So if I wasn't modelling, I'd love to be a qualified beautician. I'd either love working for a well known make-up brand such as Estée Lauder or MAC, or even have my own salon and offer beauty treatments etc.
What is your guilty pleasure, food wise?
I will not hide the fact that my biggest guilty pleasure is chocolate! I mean who doesn't love chocolate?! I do try and stick to a healthy regime in terms of keeping fit and eating wisely, but I feel there is no harm in indulging every now and then too. I do love my desserts such as cheesecake/chocolate cake/ice cream…the list of guilty pleasure foods can go on so I had better stop there!
How do you cope under the pressures of being a model?
I would say I cope extremely well under the pressure of being a model. Obviously it's normal to be a tad nervous of wanting to achieve the best possible look, but I tend not to let things overtake what I’m doing and focus my efforts on the task in hand. I like to have a well-organised shoot plan with all the vital details on it so that I have time to prepare. I'm a very organised person and I feel that if I get too stressed out it will show in my images, so the more relaxed I am, the more success I reap out of my shoots. So I would say organisation and planning is the key to avoid feeling under pressure.
What beauty and fashion tips do you swear by?
I completely love a variety of make-up and beauty brands. I like to go for a natural flawless look on a day-to-day basis and then take it up a notch and be adventurous with vibrant colours for my modelling and personal events and occasions. My top fashion tips are 'keep it simple but sophisticated', as this is a look that best suits me. I love MAC concealers for great coverage, and top brands such as Maybelline, Boujours, Barry M and Chanel are some favourites of mine.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
She needs to do some research first, you have to know what direction you wish to follow and the type of modelling you want to venture into. There are plenty of modelling sites out there that you can check out, also do a model test on yourself, and practice your poses and experiment with what your best angel on the camera is. Modelling is so much more than just looking pretty. Get yourself a good photographer and build up a portfolio showcasing your work and send it to modelling agencies and make-up artists for potential work.
Images by Richard Whitelock