NO matter what challenges life may throw her way, Tang Wan Li is determined to forge a path for herself.
The 21-year-old model from Kuala Lumpur, who is close to finishing her Mass Communi-cation degree at UCSI University, cites peer pressure as one of the biggest challenges faced by students who do part-time modelling.
“Some students have told me that we should not do part-time work while studying. Sometimes, they stereotype models as materialistic attention-seekers,” said Tang.
“But there is nothing wrong with earning an honest income without having to compromise your values. I love what I do and it reduces the financial burden on my parents.”
Her experience in modelling started when she was working part-time as a promoter. A friend suggested that they both try out for a small pageant, in which Tang ended up placing much better than her friend.
Tang, who comes from humble beginnings, is very grateful to her parents for being able to put her through college and is determined to pay them back for their sacrifice.
“I am not ashamed to admit that my father makes a living as a taxi driver. With the work that I do, I can support myself financially and hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to support them too,” she said.
Many are surprised to discover that Tan played hockey in secondary school, representing Kuala Lumpur at the Malaysian Schools Sports Council (MSSM) level.
“I was the only Chinese girl in the team. People always stare at me in disbelief because they think that I looked more like a ballerina than a hockey player,” said Tang with a laugh.
When asked about her favourite colour, she chose black, saying it is “mysterious, yet classy”.
“Besides, in fashion, black is a colour that will never clash and matches well with anything,” said Tang.
Tang revealed that on her bucket list is to achieve financial freedom and travel the world, citing romantic France and Italy as two must-see countries.
Three of Tang’s favourite movies are Titanic, the Harry Potter series and the Escape Plan, starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwar-zeneggar.
“One inspiring historical figure that I would love to meet is the legendary Hua Mulan. I look up to her as someone who is really brave and responsible to her parents.”
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