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Harleen Kaur Nottay: Britain's Next Top Model?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Admin Singh, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Harleen Kaur Nottay admits she has had an “internal struggle” balancing her cultural beliefs with the modelling competition.
    Interview: http://video.stv.tv/?bcpid=37654293001&bctid=111702110001

    Britain’s Next Top Model contestant Harleen admits her journey into the final 14 was plagued with difficulty as worries about a cultural backlash filled her mind.

    The 19-year-old hit a stumbling block in episode two after the contestants were tasked with striking a provocative pose for an underwear photo shoot alongside a male model.

    Speaking on The Hour, Harleen said: “They said that I could wear the komodo over the underwear so I felt a little bit more comfortable but then the photographer asked me to take it off…the photographer wasn’t aware of how I was feeling.

    “The designer was there and you could tell by her face that she was thinking ‘oh no’ and that is how I was feeling inside.”

    She added: “For our culture, it is quite unusual. You don’t really see Asian models out there in general.

    “I am having an internal struggle with with what I have done, with my culture and what my family is going to think and what my boyfriend is going to think and everything, I found it very difficult.”

    Despite these worries, Harleen is determined to stay professional and push her concerns to one side, grabbing hold of her once in a lifetime opportunity.

    “There is always a dream you have, for me it was modelling, it was something I have always wanted to pursue.



    “At the end of the day, I thought ‘I am here, I am doing a job and I have just got to get on with it and set my feelings aside’.”

    Aside from the tasks, Harleen was delighted with the input the girls received from supermodel and host of the show Elle Macpherson.

    “She is so genuine and so lovely,” she said. “She does care about the individual, she was just lovely.

    “Close up, she is just amazing, you think, you hope, you pray that she is not for your own self-esteem but she is just flawless!”
     

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  3. Admin Singh

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    Harleen Kaur Nottay: Britain's Next Top Model?
    by STEVE HENDRY

    They were hand-picked by Elle Macpherson for the final of Britain's Next Top Model but Harleen Kaur Nottay and Jennifer Smith are not your typical catwalk hopefuls.

    Stunning teenager Harleen is bracing herself for a backlash from parts of her community, while Jennifer admits she struggles to see herself as a beauty.

    Harleen, 19, from Midlothian, and Jennifer, 21, from Dunfermline, beat off fierce competition from thousands of girls to make it on to the show, which starts tomorrow night.

    The two Scots are in the last 25, competing for a life-changing prize - a contract with the prestigious Models 1 agency, a cover spread with Company magazine and a campaign with cosmetic giant Revlon.

    Student Harleen, studying business management and entrepreneurship at Napier University in Edinburgh, says she wants to let all Sikh, Indian and Asian girls know they should follow their dreams. But she also thinks some of the older generation may disapprove of her stance.

    Harleen said: "At the end of the day, I'm not bothered by what they say. I just want my parents to be happy. They know what I've done, what I'm involved with, that's the main thing for me. My mum has supported me a million per cent and that's all that matters."

    Jennifer, who started modelling for a local hairdressing salon, said: "I've done quite a few pictures now and I still find it hard to look at them and think, 'gosh, I'm pretty'.

    "I find it hard to think of myself in that way. I don't look at it like that at all. Everything else I do is creative. I paint, I draw and I try to approach modelling in the same kind of way. I think I'm able to bring that sort of creative process to making a nice photograph and so far it seems to have worked."

    Much of Britain's Next Top Model has already been filmed, but both girls are sworn to secrecy on whether they have made it out of "boot camp" and beyond. The winner will be decided for the first time by public telephone vote in a live 90-minute catwalk finale in October.

    Both girls however, have been thrilled by the experience of meeting the show's stunning host, El le Macpherson.

    Jennifer said: "She is such an iconic woman, one of the real supermodels. To have her hosting the show and for her to hand-pick all the girls and say, 'yes, you are good enough to do it,' it's really quite an honour. You see all these images of beautiful models who look fantastic but to see Elle in the flesh and for her to look just as good, I mean absolutely stunning, was something else."

    Harleen added: "She is so breathtakingly beautiful. I was intimidated by her presence because of who she is, but she is such an inspiration, such a nice person and so kind.

    "She is the perfect example of someone who is really successful but has managed to keep themselves grounded and not let it go to their heads."

    Boot camp sees the final 25 girls being whittled down to 14 - and inevitably there were a few personality clashes. Harleen, who, l ike Jennifer, was selected after a series of auditions and a lengthy interview process, had a brush with one of her onscreen rivals, Kadian.

    Harleen said: "I made friends with other girls but I did get into an argument at boot camp. These things happen with 25 girls in the one place. Personalities clash.

    "I was angry because I was in an argument. Then I backed away from the confrontation but she just wasn't having it. I'm not the confrontational type and she was upsetting me. I just wanted my own space and she wasn't g iving me it, but I was f ine afterwards. For the remainder of my time on the show, we just didn't speak."

    As well as the other girls, the models had to face a tough judging panel which included top designer Julien Macdonald, former model Charley Speed and stylist Grace Woodward.

    Jennifer, who started modelling for a local hairdresser when she was 17, said: "What you saw is pretty much what you get.

    "They tried to keep up their camera persona in front of us, which was quite amusing in some ways.

    "Julien Macdonald is quite honest, shall we say. He's close to the bone with some of his comments. He is a good guy but you need to have a Simon Cowell-like judge.

    "The industry itself is full of harsh criticism. It is a tough job in that sense. There are always going to be people who like what you do and there are always going to be people who don't like what you do.

    "No matter what feedback you think you are going to get, to go in and stand in front of that panel is always a nerve-wracking experience. It really gets you in the gut.

    "The comments can be quite harsh but you cannot take it to heart. You can't let things like that get you down. If you took every comment which came your way too personally, you would never get anywhere. You have to brush it off, stand up and get on with it."

    Both girls will be glued to the TV screens waiting to see the first episode of the show and, while they can't reveal how far they progress, both are serious about pursuing model l ing as a career.

    Harleen said: "Filming wasn't what I expected. It was pretty intense, a lot more so than I had anticipated but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's definitely something I want to pursue, but I'm not naive enough to think I'm just going to shoot off to London and become a model. I definitely want to have a degree behind me. I am going to try to pursue modelling while I am at university and just see where it takes me."

    Jennifer, who dropped out of a biology degree at Stirling University after her first year, said: "Since filming finished, I've worked really hard to put together a diverse portfolio. I think it's something I'm good at. I have to give it a go while I'm young and I've still got good skin and the body to do it. Ten years down the line, I don't want to think 'what if I'd followed that through?' "Just now I'm just excited and nervous about the start of the show on TV.

    "I think all the girls are. It'll either be really good or I'll be hiding under a rock for the next month."

    [Courtesy: The Daily Record]

    July 5, 2010
     
  4. spnadmin

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    I think Aman ji this article is a platform for discussion of many themes we have visited on may threads about being a Sikh. It will be interesting to see what happens. I would love to play the devils advocate and ask 25 sticky questions. But maybe now the thing to do is wait and see.
     
  5. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    I have all sorts of opinions on this, but I think I'll sit back and see what some of our younger members have to say. I'm really interested in their responses on this one.

    The ball is now in their court!
     
  6. amrit.saggu

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    Meh...well it's obvious that there will be a backlash from either her surrounding society or perhaps at a larger scale, regardless I don't think it matters. Society will always judge, discriminate, and be hateful. Personally, I think the world has the right to do as they please with their life regardless of their background, everyone is an individual with a will. As long as nobody is being hurt, a Sikh need not interfere in the business of another. We already have so much self-contemplation to be working on :)
    forgive any mistakes..Wjkk Wjkf
    amrit
     
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  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    What backlash? In India there are sikh actresses and models.Neha Dhupia a sikh actress is very famous for her bold scenes.Katrina kaif which is also from U.K is now number one actress of India.Has anybody ever seen sikhs protesting against Neha or other sikh actresses .Has anybody ever heard that fatwa is issued against any muslim actress .As long as they keep religion out of their profession no one is going to say anything.All she is trying to do is to secure more publicity and votes by playing victim card and show britain that how much oppressed culture she is from .She is a big Drama queen.She says that
    You don't see Asian models in general so How india whose fashion industry is managing?Models from all religion walk on ramp in India despite very conservative society

    What is sad is that liberal sikh sites like sikhschic are publishing article on her portraying her as some role model for youngsters which clearly means that more young sikhs will prefer to cut their hair and choose the profession which they like to go
     
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  8. badshah

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    Well - if she is having internal issues it just goes to show how strong the Indian culture is.

    Its one of those things that if she become a big name then every one will eventually love her, if she fails then she will get spat on not for failing but for taking her clothes off etc etc

    At the end of the day, money talks, so if she can pull it off then he the money will speak!

    Any way, I say good luck to her..... we already have Sunny Leone to look at naked... yummy! Lol!

    Links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_Leone
    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/business-and-lifestyle/19717-sikh-model-in-kenneth-cole-ad.html


    Money talks, ******** walks........... winkingmunda
     
  9. badshah

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    Show me one Sikh woman and one Sikh man that can be a role model for young Sikhs, thanks! Actually show me two of each, one from the West and one from the East........
     
  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Please tell me what kind of role models you are asking for? Worldly success,monetory success? Political success?.Sikhism was never a religion that give much importance to these.All these things were available to 18th ,19th century sikhs Yet many choose death over success
     
  11. badshah

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    No, no nooooooooooo..... you said people will look at her and then chop their hair off...... well you know I hardly see many Sikh with long hair...... so that why I am asking you to give a few names of Sikh that you think will appeal to the youth..... thanks - its your pick of people, you choose!
     
  12. kds1980

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    You are misinterpretting my post.What I mean is that she has chosen an industry where there is no scope of keeping uncut hair.If she is portrayed as sikh model then don't you think Youths will ask That if Harleen could be sikh
    role model without uncut hair then why should we keep our hairs?
     
  13. amrit.saggu

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    I agree she's probably just using this as a publicity thing..however you can't deny that at some level she must be feeling a fear of backlash. I mean, I'm a kesdhari Sikh, I follow GGSJ and I feel a backlash from my society just because I want to live according to GGSJ alone...without external maryadas...jeez..the problem is the "Sikh community" as a whole does not reflect Sikh values...simple and plain....
     
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  14. badshah

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    Lol - this is life!

    SHe chose the career and good luck to her....

    About the uncut hair business...... I dont really know of or seen many Sikh girls that have uncut hair in the UK.....

    You are letting your foundations crumble because of one woman? Put it this way, forget the hair side of things, she openly talked about her boyfriend.... and they obviously have sex, lol..... so according to you that would mean all girls now having careless sex?

    Well it is the UK, and boyfriends, girlsfriends, sex etc etc is a part of this world, however if you chose the full Sikh way of life then you will not be doing these things. It all boils down to liberal Sikhs, moderate SIkh and strict Sikhs..... the world is full of such diverse people that its impossible to have an ideal. Even if you have an ideal situation.... it may look ideal on the outside but since we are all humans many of us have our darker sides that not everyone can control.

    Anyway - its pointless looking at what right or wrong other people are doing and just be a good enough role model yourself to get your own family through life first then I suppose you can worry about ather things... otherwise you will probably just watch people get ahead in life while you sit there crying about others - try being selfish for your success and make your own dreams come true
     
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    #13 badshah, Jul 17, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  15. spnadmin

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    Kanwardeep Singh ji

    Always appreciate your perceptions of current Sikhism. But let me correct one thing. SikhChic is not as you have described it a liberal Sikh site. For one thing its target audience is not youngsters. I can get you the web demographics for their site if you like. They are also not liberal. They are dedicated to diverse points of view. Here is the link to the bios of their columnists. There are several amritdhari Sikhs in the lot, including IJ Singh who writes for SPN, keshdhari Sikhs, and also some nonSikhs.


    http://www.sikhchic.com/columnists.php
     
  16. SiKh-Boi

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    hmmm not that beautiful:motherlylove:
     
  17. preetdil.singh

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    i dont understand why u calling her kaur or sikh.when she is not a sikh acording to our guru rahat bina nahi sikh kahave rahat bina dar chota khave or rahni rahe soi sikh mera.but this girl doesnt have long hair thats the main identity of a sikh.why she is thinking abt their culture when she already doesnt know wats the culture of a sikh.she is saying these all only for the publicity if they will tell her to take off her all clothes then she will also do that thing also when she is saying wat my boyfrnd will think about me.she is tense for her boy frnd not for the sikhi
     
  18. issondhi

    issondhi Canada
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    Vahe Guru ji ka Kalsa Vahe Guruji ki Fateh,
    Talking about role models, watch Panjabi singers on any TV Channels.Conciously or
    unconciously they have become the role models of Panjabi youth in India.They have played havoc with Sikhi in Panjab,and the young sikh girls are not for behind with
    short/cut hair.It is sad to see such bobbed hair girls claiming themselves from sikh families.
    Adopt any profession you like but please dont link this with Sikhi.
    God Bless,
    Iqbal Singh
     
  19. BhagatSingh

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    Sangat ji

    What does a Sikh role model mean to you?
    and in modern media?
     
  20. alpa

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    you are trying to find some ammunition so you could reason it out :)

    Clever enough.
     
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  21. roopsidhu

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    SSA,
    This is vey personal issue. The field she is working is of such nature. Why we bring religion into this. The cut hairs, shaven heads and semi nude pics etc are part of medelling.
    I strongly believe that the statement by Harleen that she was upset or very uneasy, are just the "answers to interviewers questions on the spot. Any girl getting into medlling is fully aware of all these things from the begining.
    Her statement might have been a part of the popularity propoganda. She has all the rights to do that as all the other stars do.
    As far as Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji teachings are concerned the cut-hair, shaven heads, type of dress etc are not the only aspects to be a sikh.
    She is on the peak in her business, lets not try to unstabalize her by creating issues out off nothing.
    Roop Sidhu
     

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