IDENTITY CRISIS IN A WORLD OF STEREOTYPES AND CATEGORISING. HOW I BECAME YUMIKA HOSKIN.
My name is Yumika Hoskin. I am half Japanese and half Australian mixie. Born and grew up my whole life in Melbourne, Australia and have two brothers one older, one younger. Growing up in Melbourne was amazing, I was surrounded by nature and in a city with a lot of rich multicultural artistic flare. However, as a halfie, I did find to have some identity confusion with trying to define whether I was more "white" or "Asian." Hello, identity crisis 101 of Yumika's life during her adolescence years!
I came into modeling by an interest in fashion design at an early age, which I eventually pursued in University as Bachelor degree in Design at RMIT. At 16 I was with an agency however found I was constantly grouped and stereotyped as an "Asian" model and was quickly dismissed and overshadowed by the favored blonde, beachy, "Aussie" model look. I quit modeling at 20 due to body weight issues and being discouraged from the lack of success in pursuing it.
During my university studies, I started my own fashion styling business "YH STYLING" and styled for various brands, campaigns, and editorials. It was an incredible experience as it taught me how to how to multitask, perfecting my skills as a stylist and learning competence in myself in running my own business. However I still had friends who were succeeding in modeling and telling me about the jobs they were shooting, the castings they got to attend and the overseas contracts they were experiencing which made me envious as well as miss modeling so much. I never got to pursue it to the extent that I wanted due to lack of opportunity as well as my agency never pushing me. I was too short, too fat, only booked jobs where they "wanted an Asian." Most of the time, I would rock up excited to a shoot where I would find out there they were styling me as a "geisha"...again. A half Japanese model as a geisha... how original people!!!
It was only from the encouragement of one of my best friends Melissa Riemer, a fellow Aussie mixie who killed it overseas, that encouraged me to pursue modeling in Asia where our look was in demand. Where we weren't just a "white" model or an "Asian" model, we were "mixed" models. I loved the idea of that. So I contacted agencies in Bangkok, landed my first contract and lived there for four months. That first contract was an experience I will never forget as it built up my self-confidence in my look, my potential, and skills as a model and pride in myself for following my intuition and never giving up on something you want for yourself. I met so many other mixed models from all around the world and also was constantly praised for being part Japanese. Clients made me feel rare and special which was new to me. Being in Asia, I let go of this suppressed identity of being Asian. In fact, I admired and became grateful for my Asian heritage and roots. I developed a true pride for being mixed and not feeling lost in identity or being categorized in a stereotype of either choosing to be "White" or "Asian."
Since then I entered a reality modeling competition tv show called "Supermodel me" where I placed 5th and completed modeling contracts in Singapore and Taiwan. From the success of the show and the advice of the producers, I was encouraged to pursue TV presenting and hosting as a career in Asia as I had the personality, look and potential. That career area was also something I had wanted to try however never took seriously and dismissed as a desire due to discouragement in the lack of opportunity my look has in Australia. Two years ago I saved enough money, packed my bags, said goodbye to Australia and moved to Singapore by myself on a desire to pursue tv presenting.
I am here two years later grateful, happy and more confident in myself than ever. I have worked with various productions on countless tv shows, hosted live events and represented by my agency as a celebrity model. I represent myself as TV host as I have never felt that a manager or a talent agency at this time represents me better than I represent myself. After all, clients are hiring me for me so who can sell you better than you? I am also in a place that hands me opportunity after opportunity, sometimes so much to my disbelief. I really believe that when you find your place and you are meant to be somewhere, the universe really aligns for you. It’s incredible to reflect back and see the progress you have in knowing yourself and your self-confidence.
Being mixed rules! Always believe in yourself and listen to your desires, intuition and to those closest to you who see a potential in you that you might have suppressed or you might not believe in yet. Only you drive your future, so if you hit a bump in the road, follow the signs and take a detour. Sometimes those detours lead you into some other surprises. But it all starts with the drive inside you to start the engine to the long but fun journey ahead.
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