SYASYA SHAMSUDDIN is a beauty influencer, model, advocate for human and animal welfare rights, and a world traveller. The 20-year-old Sarawak-born lass has appeared in multiple TV ads and beauty and fashion campaigns, and has worked with some of well-known brands including Dove, L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline, Cetaphil, Swarovski and Clinique.
How did your career as a model and beauty influencer begin?
“My first shooting gig started right after I finished high school in 2017. I was always interested in glamorous opportunities. So, one of my good friends knew about my dream and suggested me for the casting of a local brand that would appear in the newspaper.
“I gave it a try and got the job! I did other gigs at my own pace. Later I got the opportunity to hire a talent manager, and her name is Aziza Ghebllawi. She has been guiding me. She is good at understanding people’s situations, and not many people are capable of doing that.”
How do your friends describe you?
“They say I am straightforward and honest, and people like me are hard to find these days, because most people are so fake. They also said I light up the room, especially when I laugh, because my laughter is contagious. They feel my weakness is that I put other people’s feelings before mine, which leads me to get hurt. I am weak when it comes to those I care for.”
Who are the idols you admire?
“Bella Hadid. She is so genuine, talented and very authentic with herself when she shares her messages on social media.
“Where Malaysia is concerned, I admire entrepreneur and influencer Tyra Kamaruzzaman. I got the chance to know her better. Most of the advice she shares on social media is spot on.”
What is the best advice your parents have given you?
“The best advice came from my late dad. He said that no matter how hard life hits you, you have no one but yourself. So always learn to adapt and get on with life.”
What kind of activities do you indulge in when you are not working?
“I indulge myself with a lot of pampering sessions at home. If I have a piano with me at my new place, you can bet I will be playing it most of the time. I love cooking, and love to try out new recipes and new dishes. I have a cat and will teach my cat new and simple tricks.”
You are a traveller. What is the best country you have visited?
“It’s been a while since I went travelling. I believe my best trip was to Bali in 2016 where I got to make friends from Australia and Jakarta. I cherish the wonderful friendships I have made.”
How do you keep yourself fit?
“I used to exercise daily. But now I am trying to push myself to eat more than what I normally consume. I have not had the best appetite ever since the pandemic started. But I have recently learned how to cook and try out new flavours. So my diet is pretty much dependent on what I feel like cooking on that day.”
You are a human and animal rights advocate. What are some of the causes you are fighting for?
“I found myself interested in causes related to poverty and emotional needs after joining a charitable organisation at my school. After my first visit to an old folk’s home, I understood that there are people who need our care and our understanding.
“Seeing one’s sadness is hard enough. I have a soft spot for poverty and for bringing awareness to abuse victims’ wellbeing after recovering from a traumatic experience. I just recently adopted a cat and have grown interested in learning about animals and saving them.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
“I see myself hopefully in a much better position mentally and financially. I hope to finish my degree in media and communication studies. I also hope to get a comfortable place for myself and my cat, as well as buy my own car. I also hope to bond with my friends and my relatives.”