KAMI learned that even though Maureen Wroblewitz is the shortest, the youngest, and the one with the least experience among the contenders of AsNTM Cycle 5, but she proved that she is not really "just a pretty girl with no skills" as she prevailed to become the first Filipina to win the competition.
Her message for her bullies is,
"You shouldn't have underestimated me and I'm really happy that I can prove them wrong. I'm not just a pretty face. I'm more than that!"
"Actually, it was like there were the good girls, and then there were the bad girls, and we kind of like stayed away from each other because with our personalities, we don't want to like clash...I was bullied also and they kind of tried to bring me down because maybe they thought that I'm threatening."
She described her 'Top Model' journey as a "crazy rollercoaster ride."
"My path has a lot of ups and downs. At first, people were doubting me. I was doubting myself and I never knew what I was doing in front of the camera. I always feel shy to actually show poses I know because I knew everyone else have so much experience and they're all looking at me. They're all judging me."
"I would just say, 'Oh, just forget about them! Do your own thing. You're doing this for yourself and not for anyone else.' And I was just learning more and would just start get better and better and feel more confident and yeah, I made it to the top three and then I won this for the Philippines!"
By learning how to trust and love herself, she got past through the challenges and the bullies, she admitted,
"And then I was told to trust my instincts in modeling and posing, so I would slowly try to accept it. I also found a hard time to find myself and to love myself."
"But past the competition, I learned to love herself and when I did, I grew more confident because I really accepted who I am. And by accepting who I am that's what really made me comfortable."
During the last photo shoot, she again felt pressured to win the title for the first time for the Philippines and she is happy that when the show was finally over, her fellow finalists, Shikin Gomez of Malaysia and Minh Tu Nguyen of Vietnam, are a good sport.
"During the competition, we really felt the competitiveness. But after the competition, we were just like, 'Yeah, we can forget about everything. We can forget about the cameras, all the people, all the judging, and we could really be just ourselves and so I would say, we're all cool outside the competition."
Even though Shikin and Tu might be more experienced and taller than Maureen but as the competition's mantra goes, "Expected the unexpected," Maureen, the smallest of the bunch, got the prize.
According to Maureen, her lack in experience has become her ticket to success.
"Being inexperienced is not really that bad because it just gives you more room to learn. Because when you're inexperienced, you're like a sponge. You hear everything, you learn so much and you use that. As an experienced model, you already have your own way. You've done so many photo shoots and then someone comes in and says you to change this and that. And you're like, 'Why would I change that?' I've been modeling for I don't know how long and it was never a problem!' So, it was harder to change your ways than for me, just learning new things and doing them."
Maureen only has one advice for others also facing problems like bullying, one that she learned the hard way as a certified "Top Model."
"You should really just focus on yourself. You shouldn't mind them. Focus on the people you love. Focus on the people who love you and positive vibes all the time!"
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