IT was not an overnight desire but pure passion that was developed at a tender age of five for Penang-born student, Dheper Teh, who is now set to represent Malaysia as one of the finalists at the 2021 Miss Teen Universe.
Dheper, 19, who is currently pursuing her diploma in business studies at INTI International College Penang, told Buletin Mutiara that modelling is something she has been extremely passionate about since the age of five.
“I know I was too young to decide anything for myself back then, but it (modelling) somehow held a very special place in my heart.
“And when I was 15, I was very sure that modelling was going to be a very important part of my life. That was when I decided to study and familiarise myself even more about modelling.
“It was a very special moment for me after being nominated as one of the finalists at the 2021 Miss Teen Universe.
“I am even more excited knowing that I will be able to represent my country at such a stage where I will be competing with fellow beauties during this international beauty pageant.
“This will be a fantastic platform for me to showcase the tremendous culture, tradition and uniqueness of my beautiful country, Malaysia,” Dheper told Buletin Mutiara during a recent phone interview.
Several reports online had recently claimed that the international pageant, which was initially scheduled to happen on Nov 6 this year in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has been postponed to next year.
Despite the postponement, Dheper is unperturbed and has decided to fully embrace the delay as it means she can now have more time to prepare herself emotionally and physically before getting on the stage.
“In life, good things take time. I would like to also take this opportunity to wish my fellow beauties the very best in their preparations gearing up for next year’s international pageant,” she added.
In the past, she has participated in various pageants and has gone as far as China to represent Malaysia.
Behind every smile, there must have been a sorrow history that probably went unheard or untold.
For Dheper, growing up with a great amount of liking for modelling was never an easy task.
According to her, she was put through multiple difficult situations and often, the encounters have been ones to forget due to the damage it has left on her physical and emotional being.
“I am not as tall as other beauties in this industry, and it was often the one element that people used to bring me down, inflicted emotional pain on me, but I refused to stay down.
“Not only my height, but I was even mocked for my ethnicity. It was disgusting to encounter it, but surprisingly, it gave me the strength to go on and here I am today, so proud of how I have turned the tables against the people who once criticised me.
“Overcoming these challenges were not easy, but with the support I gained from my family members and friends, I was able to pull it through,” Dheper said.
When asked about her role model, she said it was none other than the famous Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra.
Although Priyanka started her career in Bollywood, she has made it to Hollywood and has acted alongside some extremely prominent figures in the entertainment industry.
Dheper’s goal in life is to become Miss Universe one day, and she is confident that with the track she’s in now, it is very much within touching distance.
“I will also do my part as a responsible citizen by giving back to the community and by lending a hand to assist the needy in my community,” she added.
Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix courtesy of Dheper Teh