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'Modelling makes me feel good about myself'

Last updated on: September 8, 2009 

Photographs: Courtesy Shoot Talent Management

She started modelling at 15 and will grace the Lakme Fashion Week runway for the first time this month. Meet Bangalore girl Nicole Faria, 19, who knows exactly what she wants from life. In a tete-a-tete with, she discusses her career, personal fitness regime and a few of her favourite things.

How I got into modelling: I grew up in Bangalore and am currently in my third year of college, pursuing a BA degree. I started modelling at the age of 15. A Bangalore-based model coordinator by the name of Sonu had seen me around and had a few of my friends working with him too. So he gave me a call one day and said that I had what it takes to be a model. He asked whether I would like to give it a shot and I was initially hesitant, but then I thought, what's the harm in trying? That's how I got started, with a few shows, a few shoots, a magazine cover (Confetti) and a TV commercial for Fast Track. I then moved to Delhi from Bangalore, because Bangalore has limited scope when it comes to pursuing a modelling career. And I've been there since.

My beauty secrets: I eat healthy. I drink two litres of water, I eat a lot of fibre and I exercise through dance everyday. The first thing is to feel beautiful on the inside. Next is to follow a health plan similar to the routine I have taken up. Finally, keep your skin and hair as clean as possible and do good to the universe.

'Belly dancing is my fitness mantra'

My diet: I don't diet, but I'm careful of what I eat. I love chicken ceasar salad, lamb burgers and steaks, but I am also aware that they are not healthy foods. So I do consume what I enjoy, but in small portions. I have six small meals through the day instead of three large ones. And like I said, I try to incorporate a lot of fibre into my food.

My fitness regime: I visit the gym only when I have the time for it. But I keep fit for the most part by bellydancing. And I do it every day, first thing in the morning when I wake up -- 30 minutes of dancing to music I enjoy and about 15 minutes of stretching. I learned how to bellydance myself, following an instructional DVD my aunt brought me from the US.

'Show that nothing perturbs you'

My personal sense of style: Personally, I like clothes which are comfortable and simple, yet trendy. I prefer outfits which are fitting rather than loose and fabrics which are natural rather than synthetic.

My most embarrassing at-work moment: I've had one or two minor incidents in the past. The most important thing is to realise that things will go wrong from time to time -- that's Murphy's Law. One's attitude should be to take everything in stride and continue with the performance as though nothing has happened. Finally, don't forget to smile and maintain eye-contact -- this shows that nothing will perturb you.

'I don't like crowded places'

Quick facts about me:

My favourite cuisine: Chinese and Italian

My favourite drink: White wine

I love hanging out at: I don't like crowded places. My favourite places would be Couch in Bangalore, and the Living Room in Delhi.

Music I enjoy: Trance, Hiphop, R&B

Best movie of all time: Men of Honor

Favourite book: Same Soul, Many Bodies by Dr Brian Weiss

Preferred travel destination: The Bahamas and Goa

'My biggest challenge is being nice to fake people'

Makeup I can't live without: Concealer and lip gloss.

My biggest indulgence: I love belly dancing and lots and lots of chocolate.

My biggest challenge: Being nice to fake people.

Serious actor, sex symbol or supermodel? Supermodel, because I feel it completes me and makes me feel good about who I am.

My idea of a perfect day: Spending time with friends and family in a resort-type setting.

My passion: Being the best that I can be on a day-to-day basis.

'I'm turned on by intelligence in a man'

Things that turn me on in a man: Kindness, humour and a good body, but most of all, intelligence.

Turn-offs: Body odour, bad breath.

If I wasn't a model, I would be: A veterinarian. I love animals.

I can't leave home without: My handbag and my cellphone.

In my spare time... I talk to friends, shop, listen to music and read.

Future plans: To be the best model in the world. And to help the underprivileged and the illiterate in any way I can.