Amanda Vas is the towering Goan influence on modelling. At 6 ft 1 inch, this model from South Goa is an inspiration to many in modelling. By Lisha Gomes
By Lisha Gomes | Opening Doorz Editorial | July 06, 2020
First runner-up of Miss TGPC Season 7 (September 2019), 19-year-old Amanda Vas who wants to lead by example, has already done work we can all look up to for inspiration. From being someone who did not like who she saw in the mirror, to someone who rarely ever wore heels (she is 6f 1 inch), to walking in heels, to winning the first runner-up in her very first attempt. Amanda Vas from Margao, Goa, is now riding on a new wave of confidence.
Alongside modelling, Amanda is extremely passionate about completing her Graduation and is looking forward to doing her MSc in Biotechnology. She believes there should always be a balance of both. Her parents have always been her biggest encouragement and have helped her in her decision making without over-shadowing her. Amanda has always looked up to people who are concerned about the environment. Greta Thunberg, advocate Afroz Shah and Leonardo di Caprio are a few. She has also taken part in activities to better the environment like planting trees in her college and also participating in a beach cleaning drive.
The late Nelson Mandela is her idol because he lived his life by example. “People looked up to his actions; I really want to be someone who lives by example,” she says. The one advice she would like to give people is to finish what you start. “When you just start, it’s not going to be easy, but don’t stop doing it. One year from now you are going to be so much better at it,” adds Amanda.
Opening Doorz to Amanda Vas, the leggy lass from Goa who is as passionate about modelling as she is about academics and her environment and reaching out to people in whatever small way she can.
Tell us something about your journey in the TGPC (The Great Pageant Community) pageant?
TGPC is an online pageant where girls can participate from the comfort of their home. This has been happening for the past three years. The girls are trained online and the top three go for the Grand Finale to either Mumbai, Pune or another place to get trained under Alesia Raut and Anjali Raut at Cocoaberry Talent and Academy. This pageant happens in stages; first being the application process (interview), followed by top 50, top 20, top 10, top six and lastly, the top three.
And then you were the first runner-up…
I was eager when I filled the application and waited anxiously for their response. It was all about exploring new things. I gave my 100 per cent in my walk videos and answering questions. Based on my walk video, I got direct entry in the top 10. I was then selected into the top six and top three based on merit. Last year, the top three were taken to Mumbai for the finale and I was crowned first runner-up.
“So, how’s the weather up there?” Were these questions directed to you?
[Laughs] My height was never something I was insecure about. I played basketball and badminton during my school days and it was to my advantage, obviously. On the other, being 6ft 1 inch, I never wore high heels. Walking in heels, I would tower over people and they would just stare at me which was sometimes awkward. Every time I spoke to anyone, there would be too much of a distance, so, I preferred wearing flats and was very comfortable with it. When I was in STD XII, my mom enrolled me for this pageant and that’s when I wore heels over, two inches for the first time. It was challenging but once you practice it’s not very difficult!
What was your experience at Cocoaberry with Alesia and Anjali?
I had seen Alesia Ma’am on Instagram and told my mom about her. I watched a lot of her videos and tried to imitate her style and learn on my own. It was very difficult to imitate someone with 20 years of experience. My Mom then enrolled me and told me we were going to Cocoaberry! It was a very informative experience as I discovered various pageants I could participate in, interacted with many girls my age with a common goal and most importantly, I became conscious of the way I spoke and walked.
What are you plans in the near future: modelling or studies?
I plan on getting full-fledged into modelling but I also plan on completing my education. I am really looking forward to completing my MSc in Biotechnology because I feel you always have to have a balance of both. Someone with a degree is always respected.
Who has been your inspiration during this journey in the glamour world?
I have always looked up to women who have a combination of ‘Beauty with Brains’ and women who are successful in their academics. One such woman turns out to be my Mother. She’s a History Graduate and she is the reason I am so passionate about graduating. Another person I look up to is Lady Diana because in spite of having all the luxury she was always simple and lived a very charitable life.
How has being a part of the competitive modelling/pageant world changed you as a person?
I wanted to be a model because I was always confident but whenever I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t very happy. When I looked at models I knew what I wanted. Modelling helped me focus on getting fit and taking care of my skin and hair. I never wanted to be someone else; I just wanted to be the best version of me. I ended up losing 25kgs, started speaking confidently and became more organized. Training myself for questions even got me thinking and today, I know what and how I want my life to be 10 years from now.
You mentioned that you love to take care of the environment and have also participated in a beach cleaning drive?
Beaches are the beauty of Goa and they ought to be kept clean. I have lived just two minutes from the beach my entire life and my family has a shack on the beach too. So the beach is even a place for our livelihood. Seeing the beach dirty is very heart-breaking. We have to take into consideration even the animals who live on the beach—the dogs. Keeping all this in mind my Dad had organised this beach-cleaning drive and the turnout was amazing.
(Lisha Gomes is a third year BMM (Bachelor of Mass Media) student at St. Andrews College, Bandra, Mumbai. She is passionate about reading, enjoys singing and has also participated in a few dance shows. She plays soccer for her college after being a star performer for her school, Mary Immaculate Girls High School, Borivali).
Pic Courtesy: @amandavas_official/Twitter