Stages Model and Talent Agency holds the Saskatchewan-wide Fresh Faces Model Search every year. It?s a chance for good-looking guys and gals across the province to gain international recognition in the world of professional modeling.
This year, for the first time since the event began in 1989, the winner is Aboriginal. Fourteen-year-old Desarae Eashappie from the Carry the Kettle First Nation just west of Regina won this year?s title.
Desarae said she entered the contest on the advice of a talent scout from Stages Modeling.
?A friend and I were standing in line at the exhibition and a scout (from Stages) came up to us and asked if we had ever tried modeling. She told us we should enter.?
Desarae did enter, but her friend did not. The entry involved sending in pictures to Stages along with an entry form. From all of the entries received, 89 contestants were chosen as semi finalists. Out of that group of 89, 33 were chosen as finalists to compete on Nov. 4 in Regina, in front of international agents from Japan, Taiwan and Korea, as well as a representative from the well-known Ford Model Agency out of Toronto.
The day of the final judging started early for Desarae. She had her hair and makeup done at 8 a.m. By four o?clock, the group of 33 finalists was narrowed down to nine. When her name was announced at the end of the day, Desarae said she couldn?t believe it.
?I was so excited. I was nervous and tense all day long, and it was finally over,? Desarae remembered with a laugh.
Part of her prize package for winning the competition was a shopping spree, modeling lessons and a professional photo shoot. She will also compete in the Faces West Model and Talent Convention in Vancouver in November 2001.
At 5?6, 95 lbs, Desarae is petite?she wears a size 0 or 2. She said winning the competition has given her a boost of confidence.
?Before, I wasn?t really happy with my size because everyone was bigger than me, but now I?m more comfortable with myself.?
The middle child and only girl in a family of five children, Desarae said she doesn?t do anything special to get herself ready for school.
?I don?t wear any makeup, and all I do is brush my teeth and wash my face in the morning to get ready for school.?
Modeling is not the only thing that Desarae is interested in. She?s attends school at the Nakota Oyate Education Centre on Carry the Kettle, where she is active in sports and with the junior chief and council as well.
After winning a province wide model search, where does she go from here? In January, an international agent from Italy is coming to meet her. She also has a photo shoot booked with a professional photographer from New York in March.
?I personally hope I go a long way with this. But I just see myself as a normal girl. I blend in with everyone else.?