This month in the Coverage’s Pick, we bring to you an independent, beautiful and intelligent individual. You may have seen her lately rising up in the tough and rough modelling industry or you may have even encountered her recently in the Miss Malaysia World 2015 beauty pageant. In whatever way you know her, we’re about to reveal more about her than meets the eye. We bring to you the one and only, Melinda Lee!
Melinda Lee was a former contestant and runner-up in the Miss Malaysia World 2015 beauty pageant, though she has gone through the runway multiple times, she isn’t done serving the industry as the face and image of Miss Malaysia World.
I had the pleasure of meeting Melinda when I attended the Miss Malaysia World 2016 press conference, she was present during the event as a representative for her pageant’s batch. By first impressions, she was incredibly approachable. In our short conversation, I managed to deduce that she’s amazingly humble, friendly and more over down-to-earth.
From that small conversation, we were sure enough that we wanted her to be our next Coverage’s pick for the month of May! Therefore, it is with such great pleasure to present to you our readers, Melinda Lee. In this article, she reveals to us about her life’s story as to which she had gained much of her life’s experiences from to become the independent person she is today.
Melinda is currently 25 years old, formerly from the lovely island of Penang, she now resides in KL and works as a full-time model. She was initially a student at the University of Wollongong majoring in Accounting and Finance before taking a whole different turn into the modelling industry. She stated, “What I’m doing currently is incomparable from what I use to do. Modelling has always been a dream of mine, therefore I currently giving myself the time to pursue that dream.”
Curious as to why Melinda had chose the pathway into modelling and into the Miss Malaysia World pageant, she stated that she had initially participated in several beauty pageants like representing Malaysia in ‘The Face of Beauty International’ that hosted 50 girls from 50 different countries.
“I enjoyed the experience that allowed me to learn and share our experiences from one another whilst healthily competing against one another. The experience really stuck with me and when I heard that Miss Malaysia World 2015 was about to take place, I wanted to participate in it!”
She added, “In the plus side, the winner will be put through unto the international stage representing the country alongside 120 other more. I wanted to win and join the rest to experience what I enjoyed experiencing previously.”
Besides wanting to enjoy the experience, she believes in the pageant’s theme which was ‘beauty with a purpose’, emphasizing both beauty externally and internally. “It’s a very rounded pageant that touches upon all aspects.”, Melinda stated.
When reaching the age of 18, her parents had encouraged her to participate in pageants since they had thought she had lacked confidence in speaking publicly. She would often get stage frights in school and she wouldn’t take part in anything unless it was sports related.
“I would always refuse the option to speak publicly and in front of the class” said Melinda. “I would participate in anything sports related, I guess I was a little tomboy-ish back then? I think the other reason why my parents wanted me to join pageants was because it was to make me more lady-like, most importantly gaining self-confidence.”
Never having to regret anything from her upbringing, she admitted that the experiences gain from her growing up had led her to her own success. Describing herself as ‘Independent’, she explained that when she was 12, she had requested from her dad that she wanted a cellphone but he refused, saying a parent’s duty is to provide a child’s need and not want. Knowing that in order to get what she wants, she would have to work hard for it.
Melinda told us, “I then worked part-time at my parent’s place to earn the extra pocket money needed to buy what I want. When I turned 18, I stop taking ‘pocket money’ from my parents. Ever since then I worked for myself independently for the things I wanted to achieve. I pay for my college tuition fees, I pay for my own rent, food and I save up too.”
After knowing a little about her as a person from her upbringing stories, we asked her what was the most embarrassing moment or the hardest experience she had to face when initially entering the modelling industry. She looks at us remembering her times as to when she first started and said, “I was so excited having to been selected but that all got cut short when they asked for those below the height of 175cm to stand in a row at the front of everyone. Initially I found it to be odd but I did it anyways. When we were in the row, they requested us to take off our heels or shows as if we cheated about our heights on the profiles we sent in.” “A lot of us were pretty insulted about it, some of them even left. However, I had a worse experience compared to the other girls because the guy in charge came to me and took off my cap that I was wearing. I was having a bad-hair day that day that’s why I wore the cap. It was so embarrassing and upsetting, i even almost cried that day.” However horrible and embarrassing the incident was, Melinda didn’t quit and leave like the rest of the girls did. She said to herself, she wasn’t going to quit and was going to carry out whatever they had requested of her to do. She said from that experience, she has learned that it really comes down to how patient and passionate you are in doing whatsoever in order to achieve your dreams. Your attitude also matters in the industry. When speaking about attitude, she gave an advice saying that in order for one to succeed in life, one has to stay humble and have a positive attitude. She said it’s an advice for teenagers especially because, at that age with even the slightest achievement, we can often become extremely arrogant. Melinda stated, “When you have that mentality your attitude changes and through that your actions changes. Your pride just takes you over.” therefore keep a humble mind and be nice to everyone you meet, that’s the right way to success.