I love inspiring stories especially rags-to-riches. I feel connected to down-to-earth people derived from humble beginnings. Not only I feel motivated but I also feel the depth of correlation with these people and positive energy emanated by them fighting the odds in order to crystallize their dreams BUT and the same time; remain very much grounded; are really attractive for me.
When she was a young girl.
I knew Natalia Vodianova’s story approximately more than 10 years ago. I still remember reading it in a column of Utusan Malaysia of the Sunday edition. But today while I was taking a break from my “Advanced Public Relations” & “Public Speaking for Professionals” revision; I have been browsing news about her. Seeing the interview videos and reading about her make me feel so in awe with her grounded personality. She is one of Glamour’s 2014 Women Of The Year Award but outside of her iconic persona, she is very much the same simple girl. You can tell that by seeing the way she carries herself in the interviews.
At Glamour’s Award.
Vodianova grew up in the poverty-stricken outskirts of Russia; raised by a single mother and with a sister who suffers from cerebral palsy. She was helping her mother who kept doing odd jobs (4-5 jobs) by selling fruits on the Russian streets and even erected an illegal stall selling fruits. She still remembered the situation when coming home with no food and when she found some money on the street, the feeling of buying breads and other sustenance for the family enlightened her.
She always prefers pictures sans (without) make-up in her Instagram.
I think she is cool and down-to-earth person who never forgets her root. I like that.
But she was lucky that by the age of 15 years old, she was discovered by a modelling agent and was booked to Paris at the age of 17 years old. It is Russian culture to not really smile a lot so growing up, she didn’t smile a lot. Furthermore, it was hard for her when she was surrounded with hardships as well as the insecurity within. She was too tall and skinny and boys would call her skeleton , etc. She never felt pretty.
Her runaway stints.
But as she grew up and get herself accustomed with the modelling world, she began to discover her own extra-point features. Someone in Paris told her to smile a lot and by doing that, she has started to embrace herself. I felt related to this part on the basis of that sometimes, there are a lot of things that we used to hate about ourselves especially when we were younger; but as we grew up, we finally realize that we also have something that others don’t have; and we definitely grow up from the Ugly Duckling phase.
Her pictorial shoots.
I feel that I am always the same Shahrill Ramli as per years ago and I never become somebody who is reclusive or arrogant or snobbish. I believe I have always maintain my personality like and as when I was in Penang Free School, Penang Matriculation, USM, AFFIN Bank and etc. If anyone feels the other way round; I guess it is on their parts. Perhaps they are the ones who have been distancing away from me or did me wrong or being snobbish towards me – I always treat people the same way they treat me. You get good if you do me good. But if you are an asshole, you’ll get that bad side of me.
“I used to hate myself to have these androgynous features and being teased when I was a little kid. But now; these androgynous features make me stands out from the crowd. I have fans and crushes from both males & females. I don’t mind their fantasies when they tell me. But it is always puzzling to realize; thing that you used to hate about yourself has definitely become thing that what people are all drawn to you.” – Shahrill Ramli.
I love this statement given by her in the interview. I realize that now I am becoming more mature and growing older, I have the quality of turning a few heads or to attract people – of which I never thought I had before; when I was younger. I guess when you already embrace yourself, you tend to discover more about your own ability of which you are shunned years ago.
“On inside, I’ve always the same and I think I remain the same today, however it’s just I attracted different kind of people, to me.”