The door opened and she stepped out — barely recognisable in her new avatar. Alyssa’s dream of becoming a model had finally come true. She was thrilled for her journey as a model. With the glam makeup, professionally styled hair and shimmering body-con dress bringing out her hourglass figure, she felt optimistic about reaching the pinnacles of success. She started walking the ramp. At sixteen, Alyssa was the youngest model the company had ever recruited. 

As she walked, she heard people showering compliments, “Wow! What a perfect hourglass figure!”

“Her flawless skin adds oodles of charm!” another said.

However, Alyssa knew it was mostly an optical illusion created by the team. Everyone has insecurities, but when someone compliments us it makes us feel better about ourselves. That was exactly what had happened to Alyssa. She took up more and more modelling contracts and soon, she was well heeled. She owned a huge mansion and a limousine to take her around. She was saving up for a private jet now. 


Alyssa had just finished her morning workout, when she opened her phone to check her schedule for the day. Today was her big shoot. This shoot could be the turning point in her career. She quickly got ready to go to the studio. 

On her way to the studio, Alyssa’s attention was drawn to a social media article by a teenage girl Nandini, on which she was tagged. 

It briefly read, ‘I don’t feel confident in my body. Models like Alyssa who started off at a young age have set unrealistic beauty standards. I’m dark, short and stout making me stand disqualified as a role-model. Just because I am different, does it mean I should be maligned?’ she’d questioned.

She further wrote, ‘Alyssa, when you started young, did you never have any insecurities? Today, I’m on therapy for months after being bullied. Will I ever get a chance to restore my self worth?’ 

Alyssa recollected her first day as a model. She realised, she hadn’t felt confident until people started complimenting her. 

She started recollecting instances when fans walked up to her saying, “Ma’am, I wannabe just like you.” 

She was awakened to the fact that those compliments were just for the phantasm she had created. She returned home and started researching on ‘how to start a modelling agency’. She felt determined to provide a platform for everyone. She invested her finances to start the ‘Unique Modelling Agency’ that welcomed people of all races, skin colour or body types. In this new start-up, she never compelled models to wear makeup or explicit clothes but rather encouraged them to feel confident in their own skin. She also included models with alopecia or vitiligo which made them look unique, just like her brand name. Many top market players loved the idea of unfiltered models and Alyssa created a niche not just for herself but for deserving models. She made a difference by canceling unreal beauty standards. She’d inspired everyone to go #filterless.


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Shrreya Ajoy
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