By wanda | January 1, 2009
The next model on my list of catchups was Aberami Jaishana Loganathan, who we all fondly know as Jay.
Jay stepped into Malaysian Dreamgirl looking to take her modelling career to the next level.
She was fresh off a successful spell with Project Runway Malaysia and already had a cover in Female magazine to her name. She had stints with fashion shows and spreads, and was clearly the most experienced model to move into the house.
Geez, that must have added to the pressure for her to succeed!
She was also arguably the most complete model of the 12 - only Hanis’ remarkable blossoming late in the show leaves this subject open for debate.
Jay had lots going for her - I mean, she had the height, proportions and strong features. She could work the runway and the camera. Her maturity enhanced her discipline. And her age pushed her determination.
The thing about Jay though was, she is an acquired taste.
Normally that would evoke a nonchalant “So what?”. But in a competitive setting with limited time and a system based on public adoration, being an acquired taste was always going to be the battle for Jay.
She was in a game where the rule was mass appeal. In modelling terms, it meant commercial value. In MDG terms, it meant SMS votes.
So it was no surprise that the early (and often harsh) criticism of Jay centered on her androgynous-like features. Bluntly put, she was chastised for looking too masculine.
She was also more mocha than latte. That exoticism may have boded well for her on the vibrant runways of Paris or Milan, but she was doomed in an Asian society where fair skin and whitening lotions dominate almost every other ad campaign.
Jay simply didn’t have enough time to break thru the stereotypes and win the world over.
She didn’t stand a chance in hell.
She did give her all and narrowly missed out on a Top 3 spot. But even as a fan, I’ve to admit the odds were stacked against her from the start.
So what’s happened to Jay since MDG? Here’s my little catchup with her.
What have you been up to in the past few months since MDG?
Well I got engaged, appeared on the cover of Talents (Aug), was featured in Female (Feb) and had a few fashion spreads in Tatler, Talents, New Tide and most recently Marie Claire (Jan) among others. I’ve also been given the opportunity by style blogger extraordinaire Joyce Kristen to blog for Tongue in Chic. This invitation came as a pleasant surprise as it followed an exclusive interview by fashion blogger Aizat Aidid for Tongue in Chic.
Have you done any modelling since?
Oh yes definitely, and I got the chance to do MIFA as well. That was fun. Actually I’ve been doing both runway and print. I just did my first campaign shoot a couple of weeks ago for Lee Ann Maxima. It was a ball!
Do you plan to pursue modelling any further?
Yes. I will follow it where it takes me.
How did you feel when you first watched yourself on the MDG episodes?
It didn’t feel like 100% me. Mostly the mellow part of me was shown. Nevertheless it was quite intriguing to watch yourself as what you see what people see when they look at you. Sorta like an out of body experience!
What are the bitter and sweet memories you experienced while on MDG?
The bitter ones were when people that you had grown close to had to leave! The sweet memories were when we used to spend time together and be each others’ shoulders when family was not around.
Do people you meet or strangers recognize you from MDG?
Oh yes! All the time. It took some getting used to at first. I guess it was kind of awkward at first but now I’m used to it - we take pictures and talk but I must say I was flabbergasted when this girl once said “Oh my god Jay! This is the happiest day of my life!” Ironically that was a very humbling moment for me.
What would you do differently on MDG if you could go back in time?
I would be more aggressive.
Has MDG changed your life or helped you in any way?
Well it has definitely given me a recognizable face and name.
Does anything still bother or irk you when you look back to your time on MDG?
It still bothers me that to win you need lots of SMS votes. A lot of quality girls got dropped too early in the show.
What would you say to someone who was going to audition for MDG2?
Ask yourself “Can I take criticism? Even if it may be non-constructive?” If you can and if you feel strongly about it, go for it. After all there is nothing to lose even if it doesn’t work out. Good or bad, it is an experience and something you can learn from.
Lastly, good luck with the auditions. If you do get through then my advise is: “This is a competition. Play hard. And don’t get too emotional.”
Thanks Jay. Big ups! We loved watching you on the show.
Topics: MDG1 |