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Meiki's Transformation: From Bullying to the Runway | An Exclusive Interview

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Journeying from a young girl battling weight issues and bullying to becoming a sought-after model in the high-pressure world of fashion, Meiki's story is one of resilience, determination, and passion. Dive into this intimate chat with Meiki as she candidly shares her transformative journey, her highs and lows in the modeling world, and the insights she's gleaned from her experiences.

You've mentioned that you've always been a chubby girl, when was the moment that you wanted to change that?

I've always been chubby since the day I was born, but I didn’t realize that it was a problem. I got used to how my schoolmates were making fun of me. However, when I was in secondary school, people started to overly bully me, they'll post about me on Facebook pages and HKGolden forums for discussions. At that time I felt so bad about myself and I was depressed.

I'll ask my mum, why everyone hates me even though they didn’t know me in person.

My mum said people would see your face first and then your personality, like the words, “Your Face, your fate”, so I swore that I would make them rub their eyes and view me in a new light. I started to diet and exercise when I was 15 years old. After three years’ hard-work, I finally had a stunning transformation.

What was it like to be modeling during High School and how did you manage it?

Juggling academics and modeling was no easy feat. While I attended one of Hong Kong's elite Band 1 schools, they dismissed me in my final year, fearing that my modeling career might tarnish their esteemed reputation.

This led me to shift to a Band 3 school since no other top-tier institutions would admit a student so late in their academic journey. Despite the transition, I remained committed to both my studies and my modeling aspirations. After a rigorous day at school, I'd hurriedly transform for castings, sometimes even doing my makeup in metro station restrooms. On one occasion, I attended an interview and photoshoot right after my HKCSE accounting exams, still dressed in my school uniform.

Now that you're so fit! Do you have any tips to stay fit? Do models really have to starve themselves?

To be honest, there are two types of models, ones who are naturally skinny, so no matter how many calories they eat, they are still super skinny. The other type is like me, a normal human being who will gain weight if we eat. Most models are the latter type, we need to really control our diet aka starving ourselves, and exercise a lot to stay fit. My tip to stay fit is to move more and eat fewer calories, so as to keep a calorie deficit.

People usually see the glam side of being a model, but before appearing in magazines and shows (s), models have to go through casting(s), how stressful were they?

It's incredibly stressful. During fashion week castings, I'd often queue for hours, sometimes even in the rain. The pressure intensifies when I spot renowned models in the same line. When I believe it's my moment to "shine," I put my best foot forward, showcasing my top catwalk performance. Yet, on occasion, casting directors dismiss me without a second look, swiftly saying, "Thank you, next.''

Who's your fashion icon?

Definitely Sora Choi. I love her face and her style. She is my goal.

How did you learn to pose?

I'll study a lot of magazine editorials and practice it in front of the mirror. Practice makes perfect.

Which brand is your goal to walk the runway for?

Saint Laurent/ Maison Margiela/ Balanciaga/ Prada. I know I am greedy.

The Modeling industry can be harsh, how do you handle mean criticisms?

I've been judged and bullied and I think the best way to deal with it, is to self-reflect first, if you believe you have done nothing wrong, just ignore them. Remember haters gonna hate.

What would you like to say to your young self who was 200 lbs?

You only live once, don’t make yourself regret it.

Meiki's journey is a powerful reminder that determination and self-belief can help us overcome the harshest of criticisms and challenges. To everyone facing similar adversities, remember Meiki's words: "You only live once, don’t make yourself regret it.'' If you're inspired by her story, always strive for self-improvement and chase your dreams, no matter the hurdles.

Photo credits:

From Meiki's Instagram & Team,


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