Repurposed by Sherlyn Sim and Chee Jean Wen

Han at the premiere event of ASNTM Season 6. Photo credit: Si Yi Han.

Towering over her fellow Asia’s Next Top Model Season 6 (ASNTM) models as the tallest and youngest contestant, Han’s 1.8m frame certainly gave her a clear advantage.

Instagram post:
Video courtesy of ASNTM S6

But the 20-year-old head-turner, whose real name is Si Yi Han, used to feel extremely insecure about her height. The Nanyang Girls High School and Hwa Chong Institution alum didn’t want to stand out from the crowd.

She came to terms with her height when she figured that she could not do anything to change it. “Either I turn (my height) into something good or I have to live with this (insecurity) for the rest of my life. I’m not going to settle for that.

“I thought okay, I should try out modeling.”

Little did she expect that she would go on to represent Singapore in ASNTM Season 6 in Thailand 3 years later.

Asia Next Top Model Season 6
Han (center in pink) among the top 12 ASNTM Season 6 contestants. Photo credit: 2018 Pottle Productions Inc.

Based on the American franchise America’s Next Top Model, the reality television show puts 14 models from Asia through challenges for the title of Asia’s Next Top Model and a modeling contract with Storm Model Management in London.

Best known as the most grounded and peace-loving contestant of the season, Han made it to the top 8 before being eliminated in the fifth episode.

Kickstarting her modeling career at 14, Han secured her first gig after searching for modeling agencies online and participating in a casting call by local modeling agency Basic Models Management. She was signed to the agency for 5 years.

Si Yi Han
Han was in the basketball team when she was in school. Photo credit: Si Yi Han

Many of her friends were shocked at her decision to be a fashion model. Her parents were not too supportive of her new pursuit too.

“They said if (modeling) didn’t affect my studies, they weren’t going to care. But when it does, I’ll have to stop,” she said.

Han’s big break came when her agent convinced her to try out for ASNTM. Although initially daunted, Han jumped at the opportunity to venture out of Singapore’s market.

Asia Next Top Model Season 6
From left to right: Adela-Mae Marshall from the Philippines, Han from Singapore, Jesslyn Lim from Indonesia and Mia Sabathy from Taiwan. Photo: 2018 Pottle Productions Inc.

She said: “(There were) cameras following me 24/7 (and that) made me very cautious of every move I made.”

However, there were also many joyful moments such as cooking with her fellow contestants after a long day of filming.

Han said her modeling career has been a rewarding one so far. Her biggest takeaway is: learning to be comfortable in her own skin.

She said: “(Modeling) is all about your appearance (so) I kind of start wondering: am I not good enough or am I too ugly?

“No matter how hard I try, there will always be people who will disagree with my looks, or the way I behave.”

On her secret to dealing with rejection as a model, Han said she chooses to focus on positivity and not waste her time overthinking about the past nor the present.

She plans to continue gaining exposure as a model and further her studies in Architecture at the University of Sydney.