Filipino-Indian beauty queen and Miss Universe 2010 fourth runner-up Maria Venus Raj is visiting the UAE to conduct modelling workshops in Abu Dhabi, said a media report.
The 28-year-old model, whose father is an Indian, will be joined by Filipino-Scot actor and model Mark McMahon for the Ramp Modelling Workshop in UAE 2016 at the Intaleq Training Centre and at the Al Jaheli Theatre of the Armed Forces Officers Club in Abu Dhabi. The workshops will be conducted from November 30 to December 3, reported Gulf News.
“Basically, I’ll be teaching children who are as young as four, five, seven years old. And then probably 13 and above – so [it will be a mix of] adult and children,” said Raj, who was born in Doha, Qatar.
Raj, who stands tall at five feet-nine, will also be joined by Philippines “beauty queen maker” Jonas Gaffud and Miss Universe runners-up Shamcey Supsup and MJ Lastimosa.
“I don’t know really what qualifications are needed to be a model, but I can speak for myself and on behalf of beauty queens. We are taught how to (walk the) ramp like a ramp model, but there’s a difference when walking like a beauty queen and like a model,” Raj told Gulf News, when asked about the skills and qualities required to be model.
“What supermodels do is different from what we are taught to do. But, based on experience, I’ve learned also a lot from the modelling industry. I think one important thing is that you should like what you do, especially with children. It’s hard to walk on heels if you don’t want to do what you are doing,” added the Filipino-Indian beauty from Camarines Sur.
Raj said the real reason behind her participation in the Miss Universe contest is that “Lord had a purpose for me to be there.”
“I am able to influence young ladies, especially children. Especially in (dealing with) insecurities in life as a woman or as a young girl. To become a voice for women who are feeling insecure, that there’s actually no real reason for them to be insecure because we are all wonderfully made,” said Raj, whose mother moved to the Philippines with her after she was born.
Raj also said that she hasn’t experienced anything that is negative as a beauty queen. “I think [that] people expect you to look good everyday is a pressure,” she added.