Teenage girl from Phuket to star on Asia’s Next Top Model


PHUKET: Phuket’s daughter Tia Taveepanichpan will be the sole representative of Thailand in the second season of the reality show Asia’s Next Top Model, which premieres tonight (January 8).

Tia, who now lives in Bangkok, became a celebrity in 2012 when she won Miss Teen Thailand, taking home B300,000 in prizes and the title of Most Popular Media’s Choice.

Asia’s Next Top Model will screen tonight (January 8) at 8:30 p.m. on Star World; Channel 54 on the TrueVision network.

While living in the Next Top Model house in Kuala Lumpur, Tia, who is half South African, half Thai, says there were cameras following candidates everywhere.

“We had no privacy. There were 16 girls from different countries in Asia. They put us all in the same house, four girls per room, to see our personalities and how we react to each other.

“When they told us to do something, like a photoshoot, sometimes we had to get ready in five minutes. Everything was always a surprise and had to be done in a rush.

When asked what it was like living in the house with everyone, Tia said it was difficult at first because everyone came from different countries and had different backgrounds.

“We sometimes had different points of view, so we had to learn and understand each other’s cultures. Once, while I was sitting at the table, a Filipino girl suddenly put her shoes on the table. I felt strange and uncomfortable because I’m from Thailand [where that would be considered bad manners].

“I was the youngest girl in the house and some girls saw it in a negative light. But most of the time, they would forget that I was only 17, because I was more mature.

Tia first decided to participate in Asia’s Next Top Model because her friend was in the competition last year and wanted to gain more experience.

“At this moment, I will continue to work as a model until I graduate. [from university]. After that, I’ll think about what I want to do for a career.

“It was one of my goals to be on a reality TV show. I’m very happy I got to represent Thailand. Last year there were two girls. [from Thailand], but this year it was just me.

“I learned so much and it was a great experience that I will never forget. It wasn’t just about learning to be a model, to pose and to express feelings; I also learned other things, like shooting commercials.

Tia is currently based in Bangkok and is studying Communication Arts at Assumption University.

“I miss Phuket. When I have free time I like to do photo shoots. After I graduated here in Thailand, I would like to study abroad, but I don’t know if it will be in America or in Australia.

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