As of late, I've been seeing a lot of Sheena Bashing on social media after she was recently, officially crowned the winner of Asia's Next Top Model Cycle 2.
Well, here’s my take on it. I could understand why many of you felt cheated and you think that Jodilly deserve to win more. But, I still stand that Sheena deserve to win just as much and I believe that she would benefit from it more than Jodilly. If it comes down to it, I believe the biggest prize, the contract with Storm Models is the reason that skewed the decision to Sheena's favor which would be explained later. As of the other prizes (Subaru SUV and TRESemmé) , I could see why Jodilly might deserve them more.
You see, Jodilly is great at being a model, the verb. But as for Sheena, Sheena is a model noun. I have to admit that Jodilly may model better than Sheena, but with practice, they could be on par. Jodilly might be more daring but Sheena knows her stuff.
I may not be a professional but seeing the two, I believe that Sheena would strive and appeal to a larger/more international market than Jodilly. Agencies would book Sheena more than Jodilly. You see, Sheena has that exotic look that attracts people. She clearly has the Asian look that is currently popular in the market due to the rise in Korean fashion. She is the kind of look that one knows for sure that she is a model. Sheena reminds me of model Amber Chia and Shu Qi (if you look at Sheena’s photo’s when she has darker hair), both quite successful in their fields. As for Jodilly, she’s a very pretty girl, very sweet. But her market may not be as large as Sheena’s. She would do well in certain markets in Asia, especially in the Phillipines. Jodilly’s strength lies within her skills and talents, but if you could only see by looks, she would (to be honest) lose out to Sheena.
Also, Jodilly could clearly define a commercial model but Sheena is clearly more editorial. Seeing the trends, the Next Top Model franchise usually favors more editorial models. The current Storm Models are mostly more editorial which also explains why Sheena would fit better (justified above). Also, Harpers’ Bazaar is more editorial than commercial. Seeing from the business perspective, I believe that the editors would choose a more editorial model. Therefore, looking at business perspective, I feel that the agency would book more with Sheena than Jodilly, especially in the European market. If you would want to look at it deeper, let’s put Jessica vs Stephanie from last cycle. You could clearly see by looks alone that Jessica would book more than Stephanie, not because of her talents but because (sadly) the market. If you want to look again, compare Sofia and Stephanie. On the runway, I think Sofia would book more than Stephanie. Bottom line is, they appeal to different audiences but in the larger scale, editorial models are more desirable in the market. Now, let’s be honest. Without the show, if you see two magazines, let’s say Harpers Bazaar, at the stand, one with Sheena on it and the other with Jodilly, and you could only choose one, which would you pick up? I don’t buy magazines but if I had to, it’ll be Sheena’s. However, it’s different if it’s like Seventeen. Then, without a doubt, Jodilly’s would be the one to pick up. But look at the prizes again. It’s Harpers Bazaar.
With that being my case, I hope I shed some light as to why I think Sheena would be the more suitable winner of the competition. As for being deserving, both equally deserve it. I think the result was based more on business perspective rather than the abilities of the models because when it comes down to it, they were both on par with each other. I’ve seen some of their post-show works and I’m happy that both of them are making it big in the industry.
If you’re thinking that I’m supporting Sheena solely on the fact that I’m Malaysian myself, you are mistaken. I watched the previous cycle as well. I love and supported Melissa (still do, actually). However, because of the bitter truth and the market as it is now, I know that she would not be able to win it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Melissa, but the odds were not in her favor, at least not of this generation as Melissa is clearly more commercial than editorial (refer above). But because of Melissa’s attitude and personality, I believe she will go far in this business. Melissa is a people person, one that could appeal to normal everyday girls. Sadly, the market calls for people who girls aspire to become, which is sad but that’s the truth. I’m happy that Melissa, and even Tyra herself is trying to break that barrier.
p/s: i'm aware that i may receive some bashing after this but i have my opinion. to each their own.