SEVERAL years ago, a fresh-out-of-school Thalia Thin had considered becoming a medical doctor or a lawyer. The Subang Jaya native’s parents run their own business and she has a younger brother who is still in school. Theirs is a regular family with no celebrity ties.
All that changed when at age 18, Thin entered Miss Malaysia Tourism Queen beauty competition in 2016 on a whim, and won.
That opened the door to other career opportunities, including becoming a beauty ambassador, as well as modelling and emcee work.
While hosting the Mrs Universe 2019 audition rounds, the now 21-year-old Thin was noticed by one of the competition’s judges, Ammetta Malhotra (who is also the national director of Super Model Universe Malaysia) who suggested she try out for the Super Model Universe Malaysia 2019 competition in September.
Thin took her advice and entered. Lo and behold, she won that too.
Thin, along with Partiban Vijayanathan, who won the male model category, were flown to Sofia, Bulgaria for the Super Model Universe international competition.
Yes, she won that too. Don’t hate the girl, she is just born to win.
Thin is currently on a her gap year from college, with plans to go on to university to obtain a degree in international relations.
During a recent interview, we asked her about her journey from college-bound girl to supermodel.
What made you enter these competitions?
“I never had a proper career plan. I thought of being a professional, like a doctor or lawyer, that typical Asian thing. When I won the pageant I was like: ‘Why not live life now and think about things later?’ I did not even have a degree yet.
“When it was time to apply for college, I thought it was pretty boring. Then someone told me: ‘Thalia you are very tall, why not give beauty pageants a shot?’
“Then I saw the Miss Malaysia Tourism page pop on on my Facebook page, and I was like ‘I should give it a shot.’ [So] I registered without my parents knowing. I went for the auditions and got picked. Then I became Miss Malaysia Tourism Queen.
“I am not a person who thinks of what happens afterwards. I am the kind of person who just does something and thinks about it later.
“I never really thought I would be in the modelling industry. When I was doing the beauty pageant, it was my first shot ... and I won. I thought ‘Goodness’ and then ‘Now what?’”
How different is taking part in a supermodel competition from beauty pageant?
“In beauty pageants, you have to be very sophisticated and be able to speak well. To be a supermodel it is about attitude, how you react certain situations (when given instructions) and if you can work well with other people.”
What was it like competing against other Supermodel International contestants from around the world in Bulgaria?
“It wasn’t my first international pageant or competition. Bulgaria was way more fun because the people there were more easygoing. The models taking part were mostly there to enjoy and gain some experience. We felt privileged to walk down the runway during Sofia’s Fashion Week.”
How has life changed since you won the title?
“For me it has still not sunk in yet. I have received more job offers (endorsing products, doing runway shows and photo shoots) but I feel it is important to stay humble and stay true to the profession. I definitely could not have done it myself.”
Is fashion and modelling your career now?
“It is. But I hope that there is more support for local models, because what we see now are a lot of foreigners at shows.
“What they don’t realise is that we Malaysians are talented – probably more talented – than some of these foreign models.”
Where do you see yourself in the near future?
“In the next three years I see myself completing my degree and maybe even start my own business. In five years I hope to be a good spokesperson for whatever cause I feel strongly about. I think there is a lot of social injustice and we need to do a lot to change that.”
What is the best advice you received when it came to modelling?
“Don’t care about what other people think. Just do you, just be you.”