It has been two weeks since the International Maxim Cover Girl competition ended. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing one of the competitors: Dancia Susilo. She is a model, writer, and artist. Today, we will talk about how it felt being part of the competition and where she will go from here. This interview takes a sneak peek into her new job, volunteering position, and long term goals.
The International Maxim Cover Girl 2020 competition ended with you getting cut out of the Semi-Finals. How do you feel?
Though I feel sad that I lost, I am also proud that I made it this far. I thought I wouldn't even make it into the competition. Making it to the finals category took me by surprise. However, many people were buying votes at this point in the competition. My boyfriend and I looked through most of the other groups out of curiosity. The most attractive contestants were often ranked lower. My favorite contestant was actually in the last place for her group. This competition has drastically improved my self-confidence and self-perception, so I am extremely grateful that I entered.
Was it difficult continuously trying to get votes?
I didn't work that hard to get votes. I posted on my social media every once in a while, but that's about it. I encouraged people to vote daily and to share, but I didn't message people every day regarding the competition. I didn't want to spam and annoy people, ruining my relationships. I've definitely worked harder, raising money and awareness about important topics such as heart health with Heart and Stroke Foundation.
What's your advice for others who would like to enter modeling competitions?
Select a few quality pictures that showcase variability and show what you look like. Some repeated mistakes among contestants were: too many pictures; low-quality images/selfies; all pictures looking the same; heavily edited images/pictures that don't show your body or only your body. Having too many pictures makes it difficult to appreciate the images. It's tiring to see and increases the likelihood of someone skipping over your profile. Low-quality images and selfies simply don't look good. Maxim encourages professional photoshoot pictures. Selfies don't show your ability to model. Although not every contestant is a model or has the means to hire a photographer, selfies are better left for Instagram or TikTok or whatever social media is popular nowadays. Being published in Maxim isn't just one picture in the magazine; it's the front cover along with a feature spread. If you look the same in all your pictures, the pictures would be boring to look at. Change your facial expression. Change your poses. Play with your environment. Voters want to know the model they are voting for. Editing your face and not showing your body makes it impossible to know what you look like. Have some natural shots and include full body pictures that don't just display your ass and tits. Of course, you can show off your assets but include at least one picture where you aren't propping them.
What are your plans now that the competition is over?
It's not like this competition made me drop everything and focus on this one thing. Through this contest's duration, I have earned around 15 certificates and started volunteering at 7Cups, which people can request to chat with me directly by searching for my username: DanciaKS. I do something similar to Tele counseling. People vent to me and describe the issues they are facing so I can guide them to improve their perspective, situation, and mood. I've always enjoyed helping others, and this is a great experience and learning opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a psychologist. I intend to become a Psychological Associate in the next few years and have started making my study guide for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). I am also partaking in online group sessions with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to see what coping and recovery methods are being used by various people. The more I listen to people's struggles and their optimal strategies, the more patterns I can pick out. These patterns will help me find optimal coping strategies for my future clients or improve their current strategies.
You mentioned that 7Cups is a volunteer position. Are you currently working as well?
Yes! In fact, I recently got a job offer through LIFE Apps to become a health coach. When I was in high school, I specialized in Healthcare and had a co-op placement at a gym. It's fairly competitive, so I thought having a personal training certification would boost my chances. I was accredited through the NCAA, and during my placement, I did youth team training. Many of my “students” were older than me, so, naturally many were disrespectful to me, assuming that I didn't know what I was doing. Having that accreditation helped me get taken seriously. I never made much use of the certification, but I'll take any opportunity to learn. This new job practically landed on my lap, and I'm excited to be starting this new chapter in my life. One of LIFE's apps is the fasting tracker. I've experimented with fasting for various purposes such as gastrointestinal healing, weight loss, and muscle building. When done correctly, it can feel amazing. On the flip end, it can also be dangerous if done incorrectly. My new role will be guiding people through their fasts to ensure they get their desired results. My favorite fasting purpose is muscle building. I rapidly gain strength without bulking up, and it seems to last longer. I didn't exercise throughout this Covid lockdown. On my second day back in the gym, I was already lifting the same amount from before the lockdown.
Does this mean you won't be modeling anymore?
Covid really wrecked my chances of returning to the modeling industry. This summer, I had many photoshoots booked globally, and I was going to apply to agencies in New York. I lost thousands of dollars from cancellations, and I lost my motivation to lose weight. I started eating a lot of junk food and barely left the bed. I still have influencing gigs, but they don't pay a lot. Covid isn't going to be over anytime soon, and by the time it's safe to travel again, I'll already be “expired.” After age 22, top agencies don't want models that don't already have a steady modeling career. Also, my height is against me, and I'm not Vlada skinny. It sucks, but I'm not complaining. I'm confident that my future will be kind to me, and I'm excited to see where I go in life.
Do you find this pandemic has caused a lot of health issues for people?
It depends on the person and how strict you are with yourself. At the end of the day, you control what you put into your body. You control how much you move. Your dedication and discipline, both mentally and physically, determine your health. I let myself go by eating junk and not working out as much. I let my brain rot for two months, and that's entirely on me. I'm not going to fault a pandemic for my own lack of discipline. I've recently gotten motivation again. Although I'm still not eating the most nutritious meals, I have cut down on my snacking and started moving my body more. I have started dancing and weight lifting again, so I will gradually bring back my physical health. As for my brain rot, the certifications I got were mostly in the past month and a half. I am dedicating much more of my time to studying and reviewing my previous courses.
Are you saying people who did nothing are not disciplined?
There's no straight-forward answer to that as it depends on the person. Some people really needed to relax because they were so busy, to begin with. Some people have families and need time to adjust. There are a plethora of reasons as to why someone does not keep up with their workload and expectations. Yes, people need to make good use of their time. However, that includes making time for yourself and learning how to relax and love yourself. Covid might be adding a lot of stress on you, which means you need to take more time to relax than before. Covid has not been stressful for me, and that's why I said that I was not disciplined.
Do you have any other messages for our readers?
It's important to remember that health is so personal and private. Don't compare yourself to others and don't judge other people when they need a break. We are built differently, thriving in different environments, having lived different experiences. You just need to be introspective and be honest with yourself about your needs and desires. It can be good to compare yourself with how you were in previous years, but things change even then. Hiring a coach can be good as they will help you be honest with yourself and help you realistically reach your goals. My personal landing page is found here, and you can search me through the LIFE Extend app as well.
You can also check out my website.