Finding joy! | Daily News

Finding joy!

Motherhood is a unique achievement and the privilege and prerogative of women. There is no limit to the happiness of a family expecting a new child. ‘Busy and loving’ are two words which describes Mayumi Fernando’s world these days. With 8-moths-old Eliza Hazel Jayawardena in her arms, Mayumi is enjoying taking on the bliss and challenges of motherhood.

“She is a full bundle of joy and takes most of my day now. Therefore my days are always busy but also, it’s so loving and full of joy. I am very happy about how life is treating me these days,” Mayumi enthused.

However she does admit that she misses the modeling and glamour scene in which she was involved in while she was in Sri Lanka. Mayumi became Miss Asia in the World’s Next Top Model 2016.

“After I moved to Australia I took part in a couple of product shootings in Sydney but after that the coronavirus pandemic took over. I’m taking time off now to spend it with the little one. Who knows maybe I might return to modeling in the future,” she said.

Recalling fond memories of the past Mayumi says that her best recollections to the beauty industry are linked to the World’s Next Top Model 2016 competition. It was her first international pageant and she was glad she was able to bring glory to her motherland.

“I was excited and also anxious at the same time. Brian Kerkoven guided me throughout the process. Not only did he help me to perform better but he also taught me how to ease the immense pressure one has to face at such international events. Shooting ran on for days. It was a great opportunity for me to get international exposure and experience and handle pressure. I used that knowledge to perform better. This was the turning point in my career,” she pointed out.

Mayumi says that she gleaned a lot of new things like beauty hacks, how to present the best version of yourself when modeling and how to unlock your potentials from the event. The producers and photographers also showed the contestants how the latest technologies can be used for shootings and how to use them to their advantage.

“It was full of loads of fun memories. I made heaps of good friends who are still in touch with me to this day,” she added with a smile.

Speaking about the local beauty industry Mayumi says that it has come a long way from where it ha been in the past. However, there is still a huge contrast between the Sri Lankan beauty scene and the foreign pageant platform.

“It was evident to me during the international pageants and product shootings I took part in overseas. The general perception has changed considerably to good when you identify yourself as a model. In my opinion, there needs to be more institutes with Government backing and qualified trainers to learn modeling and other related industries. Another aspect I wish to address is getting a proper income for our models. Many people think it is an easy job where you just have to smile for the camera but they don’t know the time consuming preparations and background work you have to put to be there,” she explained.

The biggest challenge she has faced so far in life is becoming a mother. Though the health care services are on a high level in Australia, the entire process was a huge challenge.

“I’m so thankful to all the doctors and nurses who took great care of me during the entire journey. After the delivery, taking care of this delicate little bundle of joy was the biggest challenge. You truly don’t understand the full expanse of your parents’ love until you become one,” she mused.

She says that having a new born in ones hands is a hard life. One does not even want to think about exercising or getting back to shape when one is overwhelmed with responsibilities which are alien to oneself.

“However, you shouldn’t stop thinking about yourself. Honestly, I still can’t follow a strict exercise schedule because of the small one but what I do is I work around her needs. I do home workouts with my mom when the baby is sleeping or when she is playing. Fun fact - I join her in my workouts! I keep her next to me or where she can see me safely. Since she is only a few months old and doesn’t understand what I’m doing, she is laughing extensively when she witnesses my workouts. So that’s a win-win situation. The baby is entertained and, in the meantime, I’m getting my exercises. I gained 15kg during my pregnancy, but thanks to my exercises I’m back in to my old shape now. So take care of yourself ladies,” she advised.

Queried about any unfulfilled dreams she has possessed and Mayumi tends to get a bit emotional.

“I always wanted to bring my father to Australia and have him with us. He would be over the moon to see our baby girl. I wanted to give him some comfort after the lifetime of hard work he bore for us. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2019,” she said.

Coming from a family of five from Kaluthara Mayumi had been a banker before turning to modeling. Her father, Somadasa Fernando was a government servant. Her mother, Chandani Senanayake, is with her in Australia. She has two bothers: Dhanushka and Kanishka. Mayumi is married to Sameera Jayawardena who is a laboratory manager. Their little princess Eliza Hazel was born in March 2021. Mayumi is also running a few online businesses these days.

Her advise to youth who wish to step into the local model and pageant industry is to believe in themselves.

“Don’t let anyone judge you or put you down. Beauty is not enough to become the best you can be. There is always something new to learn. Train with industry leaders. I would highly recommend Brian Kerkoven Academy. Know your value. Don’t accept offers that don’t value your talent. Find and follow a great role model. Don’t stop to look back. If you didn’t get that chance or commercial, shake it off. Do better next time. Never give up,” she concluded.


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