Riennalhiza Hyde’s (StarCentral Magazine’s Swimsuit Model of the Month for August 2017) reason for becoming a model is a complex one. However, it proves to be quite an inspiring one.
Plagued by insecurities, Riennalhiza’s dream of becoming a model seemed well out of her reach. But, instead of wallowing in those insecurities, she decided to do something about it. She began by hitting the gym and “once I saw some improvements I contacted a local photographer from Newcastle, just to do a fun shoot. The shoot went well that he recommended me to other photographers & local makeup artist. His comment was “You make it look so easy and move naturally with the camera; you are meant to do this for a living”” The photographer was validated in his opinion when the 22-year old entered the Maxim Australian Swimwear Model of the Year Competition in 2015. She astounded herself by making it to the finals especially as it was her first ever catwalk competition. She shares that making it that far was “both the scariest and amazing feeling!”
While her peers may cite the makeup, the exotic locations, the glamorous fashion as some of their reasons for their enjoyment in being a model, this Newcastle-based beauty’s reason could not be any more different. She reveals that “I do modelling to be a reminder for young girls that are very insecure and has had it rough in high school… I was that girl; I was bullied for having curves, got called names. Therefore, I was just never confident nor part of the popular group… My bullies and the people that constantly told me I wasn’t good enough & put me down lit a fire in me to dream big & just not give a damn about what they think. I control my life…” She is encouraged to see the increasing diversity in the modeling world. Beauties like Tyra Banks, Ashley Graham, and Chrissy Teigen have inspired her, and she says, “women like this remind me and inspires me to stop trying to be perfect, perfection doesn’t make you a model, strong heart and that hunger to make a difference does. That is what I like most about modelling.”
Riennalhiza’s career has not only transformed her outlook on herself and her life, but it has also afforded her that chance to meet one of her idols, the hugely popular, Sjana Elise Earp. Earp, a yoga instructor, blogger, model and avid traveler has amassed a massive 1.3 million followers on Instagram alone! Sjana’s troubled younger years and her rising above those troubles, resonated with Riennalhiza. However, their meeting at a Colour Run last year didn’t go as smoothly as Riennalhiza might have liked! She confesses that “I was very nervous when I asked to get a photo with her and when I’m nervous I turn into the clumsiest person ever. I apologized to her for being so weird, and she was just so sweet and nice. She told me “That is completely fine, it’s okay to be weird that’s what makes us unique and different from the rest.””
Despite the well-known downsides of the modelling industry – its competitiveness, ruthlessness and sometimes having to compromise (in an unsavoury way) to get ahead – Riennalhiza attests that “I’ve learnt so much and grown heaps over the past three years of modelling. I’ve learnt to constantly work my butt off & to be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared. Like any job, you have to always have your A-game and appreciate the help/advice given to you. Nothing we do in life is easy…”
The Filipina/Italian/Swedish beauty reveals that her family has been instrumental in her successes so far – “I wouldn’t be here and be who I am to this day without them and their full support. I love them with all my heart, and they are one of my absolute blessings in life.” She hopes to pursue her other passions of travel and fitness (she is starting her Personal Trainer Qualification next year) as well as modelling. On that front, she shares that “my future modelling plans would be working my way to be on the cover of Maxim Magazine, photoshoots all over the world, be part of a swimsuit brand, as well as work my way to be part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Magazine.” With her beauty, drive, and heart, it is not hard to believe that Riennalhiza can achieve all she sets her mind to.
‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. Last good movie I’ve seen – ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’, it was epic!
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Real Beauty is found within not found psychically. Not put into words nor grasp
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Travel the world, sky dive & bungee jump
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” “If I had no fear I’d skydive & bungee jump
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My stretch mark, it’s my battle scar.