MANILA, Philippines — Actress and former beauty queen Mariel de Leon announced on Thursday, May 30 that she has signed up with True Model Management in New York.
“As a ‘bigger’ girl, I never thought I’d be able to fulfill my dream of modeling in the U.S… I grew up being surrounded by plus seeing plus hearing what the public and media said was ‘model worthy,’ ‘beauty queen worthy’ or even just ‘beautiful’ thinking that I’m supposed to drastically change myself into something that I’m not just so I could ‘fit in’ or succeed; Especially coming from an Asian country wherein the standards are even harder to measure up to,” she said, adding that she’s happy the industry has changed.
“Well, thank God times have changed and the industry is now more diverse and accepting of different types of women and men! No matter the size, color, race, or background: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE WORTHY! Through the years I have learned to love myself even through rough times and even if nobody else did. Now, I am the strong and confident woman I’ve always wanted to be. Or should I say ‘confidently beautiful’ and thicc!”
She thanked the modeling agency and said she’s looking forward to visiting New York.
Mariel is still under Leo Dominguez’s management for Philippine engagements.
According to its website, True Model Management, founded by entrepreneur and model Dale Noelle “represents all sizes and categories of models and embraces a vast network of clients to connect models with production fitting, showroom, trade show, print, runway and commercial talent assignments.” The agency is based in New York and has an affiliate in Los Angeles.
Mariel, daughter of actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong, joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2017. She won the title of Bb Pilipinas International. She competed in Japan, during which Indonesia’s Kevin Llana took home the crown.
She’s made headlines for her opinions, particularly when she expressed dismay over the appointment of entertainer Mocha Uson as Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) assistant secretary.
After relinquishing her crown in 2018, Mariel signed up with Leo Dominguez. — Rappler.com