Win­ner leaves con­fi­dence cri­sis be­hind

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

Alexan­dra High School stu­dent Maddy Grant, win­ner of the town’s in­au­gu­ral Model Search 2014 on Satur­day, was stopped on a Dunedin street a few months back.

The tal­ent spot­ter was ob­vi­ously struck by the stun­ning 17-year-old and gave her their business card, ask­ing if she had ever con­sid­ered be­ing a model.

Maddy said she backed off re­ally fast.

‘‘This was when I was go­ing through a re­ally bad patch, and I just knew I wouldn’t have the con­fi­dence to do it,’’ she told the Mir­ror, after win­ning the best model award and the equiv­a­lent of $5000 in prizes.

Her cri­sis in self-con­fi­dence was a story she also shared with the au­di­ence, in­clud­ing fam­ily, friends and sup­port­ers at the event, when each of the 10 fi­nal­ists was asked to talk about their fu­ture am­bi­tions.

‘‘I wasn’t go­ing to do this, but my best friend and my sis­ter talked me into it,’’ she said.

‘‘Walk­ing down that cat­walk was amaz­ing. I felt con­fi­dent, and the best I’d felt in awhile.’’

This is from a year 12 stu­dent who could barely sit in assem­bly at school with­out feel­ing self­con­scious, and who was hav­ing to catch up on school work, after miss­ing classes be­cause of poor self-es­teem.

‘‘What I’ve learned from what I’ve gone through is to ac­cept my­self.

‘‘I wouldn’t have cared if I won or not; just to be cho­sen was such boost. I’m so glad I did it.’’

Maddy said she loved fash­ion and was keen to pur­sue mod­el­ling from the con­fi­dence-build­ing point of view, but was fo­cused on her stud­ies this year.

She was look­ing for­ward to ton­ing-up with Cross-Fit Alexan­dra, while learn­ing about how to look after her ap­pear­ance with Har­mony Skin & Beauty and Tu Meke Hair­dress­ing, the event’s three prin­ci­pal spon­sors.

Run­ner-up Mikade Barnes Gra­ham, 17 was in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing a film di­rect­ing ca­reer and third place get­ter Bradley String, also 17, was fo­cused on mak­ing the World Ju­nior Javelin Cham­pi­onships.

Event or­gan­iser Trudi Hull of Har­mony Skin & Beauty said there would def­i­nitely be aModel Search 2015.

‘‘It was some­thing we could do for the youth in the town, and I’m so pleased it went over well.’’

Photo: MARY-JO TO­HILL

Happy: Would-be model Maddy Grant, 17, won the in­au­gu­ral Model Search 2014 at Alexan­dra on Satur­day.

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