Esther Olubayo hugged the limelight recently when she emerged Top Model winner of the 2019/2020 Face of Nigeria Beauty Pageant. But winning the beauty pageant goes beyond the looks. The 23 year-old final year student of Mass Communication at the National Open University tells The Interview what it takes a model to succeed in today’s world and of course the myths about modelling that must be discarded.
How has your experience been since you were crowned Top Model winner of Face of Nigeria Beauty Pageant?
I’m excited about this new phase in my career. It has been quite interesting. I would describe it as an awesome ride so far and I’m definitely looking forward to breaking new grounds.
Do you think African models are getting the right attention on International stage at the moment?
Absolutely. They are getting more recognised are and booked more globally.
I believe globally, our art is being appreciated and people are willing to explore that part of us. Unlike in the past, there is no competition for the average African model. There is a balance.
Most Nigerian parents still dissuade their female children from pursuing a modelling career, what are those fears about modelling that have continually shaped their mindset?
Three things come to mind of most Nigerian parents when they hear the word modelling: nudity, prostitution, harassment.
Quite frankly, our parents still view modelling as nudity. They think it is about exposing your body in sexually provocative manners and at times, believe that it is an avenue for prostitution.
All these are absolutely untrue. Almost every model never gets the right support from their parents because of this mindset of equating modelling to prostitution.
In my state, it is still a taboo to be seen in provocative fashion wears. There is a need to create more awareness to correct this kind of mindset.
Apart from these fears, what other inhibitions affect these models?
I believe lack of the right mentoring affects models. There are very beautiful girls who would excel in modelling but because they are not well connected, they shy away from it.
Again, there is this mentality that modelling is all about fashion runways. That’s not true. You need not be a fashion or runway model to be successful.
There are other aspects of modelling that one can explore. Take for instance, some girls are facially beautiful but not tall enough.
In that case, the best option is to explore face modelling. The most important thing is to know what modelling is all about, know where you fit in before making a foray into it.
What will you advise models should invest in to be successful?
They should invest in their physical features, that is the body and facial features. They need to take care of their skin very well.
These are the first part of their resume as it determines if they can represent a brand competently. However, to get the job, they need to invest in their intellectual energy and attitude.