In 2013, Soo Wincci received an accolade that not many women in the world would have the honour of ever receiving. She was named as one of the top 100 Most Beautiful Women In The World by Hollywood’s Independence Critics. 3 years later, Wincci received her PhD and truly embodied the term “beauty with brains”.

Over the years, the Miss World Malaysia 2008 has had a colourful career in modelling, producing music and even writing a book. These days, the 32-year-old can be found acting and motivational speaking. In this edition of DKL Gets Personal, we speak to Wincci on the downsides of being a beauty queen, her passions outside of work and much more.

1. By being both a beauty queen and a PhD holder, you’re breaking stereotypes everywhere. What are your thoughts on that?

Actually, this is how I wanna influence the world—by using my actions to illustrate that girls can go very far in life. Also, I’d love to keep breaking traditional perspectives about pageant girls and hope that people will have respect towards beauty queens.

2. What’s the first thing that went through your mind when you received your phD?

Honestly, I was exhausted when the examiners announced that I had passed my viva. I remembered that I had just come off from a 20 hour-long shoot. Moreover, I can’t count how many times I had failed before. I was crying for almost 1 hour and I guess the tears were my hard work and sweat over all these years. I almost thought that I could not make it.

3. What are the downsides to being a beauty queen, that not many may know of?

In other countries, beauty queens are being looked highly upon, but in Malaysia it’s a total opposite. I remember how I was always scared to tell people that I was a beauty queen as they might think that I am there just for the fame. That was why I seldom attended events and focused on my entertainment work instead.

Also, in the acting line, I was often offered the “vase” role, especially in the beginning of my career. The vase role literally means that I was like a pot of vase where I’d just stand there and look pretty. This really limited my acting and singing career. Hence, I told myself that I must break away from it. That is why I challenged myself with education, working on various talents and working really hard in the entertainment industry.

4. What are your thoughts on going makeup-free in public and do you do it often?

Hahaha, I always love doing that. For me, whenever there are no shoots, I am always with a naked face. Well, for me it’s good because being make-up free in public shows people the true me and it also reminds me of where I began. Usually, when I go make-up free, it’s also a great disguise from fans as well. There has been a few times where people asked why I looked familiar and I just smiled.

5. You’ve dyed your hair numerous colours throughout the years. What colour’s next?

It will be a surprise colour. =)

6. What’s your favourite physical feature about yourself?

Honestly, I dont really have a favourite feature. If I were to choose a feature, I think I will choose my hair.

7. Do you have a preferred side when it comes to modeling?

Nowadays, I seldom model anymore because I told myself that I must keep on moving forward. Moreover, the modelling world is too small. I only do certain shows for my long-time designer friends nowadays. When I model, I also love putting new elements into it. I remember recently walking down the runway while singing and performing my circus act.

8. Walk us through a day in the life of Soo Wincci.

Usually, if there is work, I would need to wake up at 5am to go for my make up and hair session. Then by 8am I would need to reach the TV station or shoot location. It will be non-stop shooting till around 10pm. At times, my lunch break would only be 30 minutes long. Then, when I am back at home, I would remove my make up and it would already be midnight. I would spend 1-2 hours reading my script or preparing for the next day. During shoot days, I only sleep for 3-4 hours per day. Usually, one shoot will last for 3 months.

If I am not shooting, I will go for my piano classes in the morning and then head to the office for meetings and updates. Night time will be for my circus training classes or my own study time.

9. What do you do to de-stress?

Cook, watch movies or have a massage.

10. What’s your favourite dish to prepare?

I love inventing new recipes and one of my all-time favourite dishes is my own invention: the “Coffee Condensed Milk Chicken”.

11. Where’s one place you’d like to travel to next?

I’d really love to visit Egypt.

12. What are your passions outside of work?

I love to help grow people’s dreams, so apart from my work, I always have personal counselling sessions for my celebrity friends or young students to lead them to discover their dreams and also to guide them in their academic side.

13. What have you learned by being in your early thirties?

I learnt how to be independent and how to fight for my own dreams when the world doesn’t understand me. Also, I learnt that girls don’t need to get married early because we should get to enjoy and achieve what we want in life first.

14. What are 3 things that light you up in life?

Kindness, determination and truthfulness.

Feature Image Credit: Soo Wincci

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