When she walks on the ramp, she impersonates a mannequin. She is the woman with a thousand expressions. Her journey from being the little geek girl behind her specs and books to Asia’s Next Top Model is entangled with thrilling challenges. Sneha Ghosh began to watch the movie of her life unfold after participating in Fact Miss Teen Contest 2009.
The bigger step in her life was participating in Femina Miss India. As the fashion diva moved forward, she found her place as one of the Top 10 contestants of Asia’s Next Top Model. Read this exclusive conversation with her.
Highlights of this episode
- Journey from Fact Miss Teen India Contest 2009 to Asia’s Next Top Model.
- Transition of Her Fashion Statement.
- Walking in a ramp in – 3° Celsius for Asia’s Next Top Model.
- Enforcing standards at her work station.
Quotes and Takeaways
- Thoughts of jealousy make us crumble. You need to observe people who are better than you to learn how they are better.
- You need to fail once or twice to be able to pull yourself. If you keep winning where is the whole kick in it!
- In college I used to carry a bus conductor bag. Some people applauded it, some others got appalled by it. All I knew I did not like the usual.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ― Marilyn Monroe
Your journey began from Fact Miss Teen India Contest 2009 in t2 to contesting for Asia’s Next Top Model. Can you tell us about your journey?
There are certain memories of our childhood which our adult mind holds on to even after many years. In my school life, I always felt very boycotted. Lets say, I was one of the geek girls made fun of. My step towards participating in Fact Miss Teen India Contest 2009 was more to acquire confidence in myself.
The bigger step was when I got permission to participate in Femina Miss India 2013. Later for my dissertation on any sociologically relevant subject I wrote my observation of fashion industry. I wrote on “Being a Mannequin: My Own Story’. It was while writing for this dissertation I realized I had a greater understanding of the fashion industry. When you are walking on the ramp you are absolutely a different person and when you enter the green room your soul enters your body again. It has been a roller coaster ride for myself!
In October, 2013. Asia’s Top Model my profile was found on Facebook. For the audition, contestants needed to go abroad. But I was the only girl who was gave her audition over Skype. That had not seen me upfront. Everything miraculously got done and then it just happened.
For most models, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own style?
My garments manipulate my mode and my body language. When I’m shooting I feel like a breathing mannequin. I am a very different person in real life and in reel life. I prefer to have a balance between both my lives.
Fashion came to be very gradually. I was slowly evolving in my fashion statement.
In college I used to carry a bus conductor bag. Some people applauded it, some others got appalled by it. All I knew I did not like the usual. I always inclined towards being peculiar, unique, not something which you’ll find other people carrying. I wear what makes me happy.
What constitutes a good shooting set from your point of view? What are some of the sets that have personally impressed you over the years?
Cooperation, professionalism and communication. I feel that understanding the model as well as communication between the photographer and the model are pivotal for a good shoot. At the beginning of my career, Rusha Bose helped me to build my profile. At present, she is a great photographer based out of Mumbai.
I worked with Swarup Dutta. I’m thankful that he had belief in me which gave me immense confidence to keep working.
Later I also shot for Shantanu Goenka, Sabyasachi, Uttam Ghosh and many more! I worked for Joey Mead King, who was my mentor. At Asia’s Next Top Model I got the opportunity of being mentored by Jimmy Choo as well.
What were the precious takeaways from the Asia’s Next Top Model for yourself?
It was a miracle that happened. I saw the movie of my life beginning to unfold. This was the first time I was travelling abroad. Meeting different people who were from various regions, cultures, background was per se a great experience!
Nothing was scripted – whatever that was happening, from racism to being called Indian to modeling in a lingerie in -3° Celsius while you are freezing in your bones.
The most important thing I learnt is to appreciate. Competition should not become crucial to you. Thoughts of jealousy make us crumble. You need to observe people who are better than you to learn how they are better. That helps us to learn faster.
When you enter other people must be stunned by your stand.
Which event do you recall as your best moment in the journey so far?
In Femina Miss India I was the runners-up. But I walked up with such confidence that I wanted people to say contestant no.7 (Sneha Ghosh) should have won.
Even after leaving Asia’s Next Top Model so many fans said I should have stayed. All of it, each moment, matters. Their messages from different parts of the world gave me great ambition.
Can you share a few of the toughest moments which you had to experience at Asia’s Next Top Model?
It was when my hair was being chopped off. I had really long and naturally curly hair. I was like the only girl who got hair absolutely short. There was moment when they chopped my ponytail and started razing one side of my head. There were no mirrors in the room in which I was sitting. After the session got over, the hair stylists told me, when people look at you, they look at your hair first. That was the biggest challenge for me. That was a leap. I needed to work it all out again, from how to stand in a shoot to how to walk in a ramp with the new persona I became.
I have an intense vertical issue! I cant even come down from an escalator, I take stairs (laughs). We were right on the roof of one the tallest buildings of Malaysia. I was literally on the at the edge with nothing to hold on to. They asked us to keep looking straight and walk the ramp! I had to push myself and make it happen. All the while my heart was on my hand while I had to look like a goddess.
In another task, we were asked to do a lingerie shoot in an artificial ice park. It was like Switzerland inside, the temperature was -3° C. I was freezing in my bones. Yet, I had to make five shots looking absolutely fantastic and not cringing an inch.
For carving a niche, how do you enforce the standards that you have set in place?
I have never gone running after anything. I am calm and spontaneous. Even if you give me a rag I’ll make sure you look like a million dollar bucks.
Are there any icons you lookup to For your work?
Walking for Victoria Secrets is the fantasy to be fulfilled!
Sabyaschi is the wizard of clothes. From Bollywood I love the style of Sushmita Sen. I also have plans of working for Manish Arora in the future cards.
Fitness is integral to make a great career in modelling. How do you differ between being slim and being skinny?
I think have a great body is very necessary. There is a big difference between skinny and slim.But I have never starved myself. I workout to eat my chocolates. If I consume too much of carbohydrate, I will work out 45 minutes more. Maintaining a brilliant figure to carry all kinds of clothes is very necessary.
What is your word of advice to budding models?
Its not always glamour and glitz. Even if you have confront the roughest hour, you have to be strong enough and look fantastic.
You just have one life. I want to absolutely utilize to the fullest. You need to fail once or twice to be able to pull yourself. If you keep winning where is the whole kick in it. The modelling industry gives a very subjective career.You need to make yourself feel beautiful and walk it. Do it as long as it gives you happiness!