The process of being chosen to be Nepal's most high-profile model is a bit like getting a government scholarship. You are among a shortlist of 200 of the best and brightest, you have to learn how to handle interviews. Yash, Nepal Lever's new Fair & Lovely model went through all that and was the chosen one. What she hadn't bargained for were tough questions from inquisitive journalists.
We tried to corner her and ask what she thought about the whole concept of beauty and fairness. Quick as a flash comes the reply: "Beauty is only skin deep. Women need not just be fair and lovely, they must be beautiful from the heart." With an answer like that, Yash could easily bag beauty contests here and abroad.
Yash will now replace Monica Chand as Lever's main model for its beauty products. She is, ummm, fairly confident she can juggle her studies and modelling. Yash is short for Yashawi Shah, and she is sure modelling will not detract her from her ambition to become a doctor. "I have no firm plans to continue modelling, but if there is another good project maybe," she says coyly.
Yashawi used to be Rupa Laxmi Shah, a name picked by her grandfather, until her parents did a name change some years ago. We must admit, Yashawi has a certain ring to it. "It's been very exciting so far, and I think more people will notice me once the campaign begins," she says. "I had not imagined all this when I had my picture taken for the application," adds Yash.
Thomson Nepal finished the first commercial shoot at Changu Narayan last week and was directed by Latha Menon who has also done commercials for Fair & Lovely in India. Towards the end of the chat, we asked Yash if she had ever used Fair & Lovely, the product she is going to be modelling for. "Never before, only sometimes but I might now," says the 17-year-old science student from Kuleshwor.