NEXT helps young woman’s dream come true
Most girls during their adolescence dream of becoming a model. They flick through magazines, admire all the beautiful models and latest fashion trends, and dreamily say to themselves, “Oh what it would be like to be in front of the camera and be admired.”
A model is certainly a role model for these girls, as are most celebrities nowadays. One very deserving model, Labonya Siddiqui, has proved that dreams can come true if you believe enough and pursue them.
At the tender age of eight, stunning Labonya Siddiqui, now 21, was permanently scarred over her lower face and upper body when a paraffin lamp exploded in her home in Bangladesh. She spent years combatting depression and concealing her scars with scarves and heavy clothes to avoid bullies. Through all this, she always dreamt of modelling.
This brave young woman was spotted by fashion chain NEXT and not only modelled at the opening of their new store in Burnley, Lancashire, but is also their new face.
We rarely ever put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Labonya explains: “The girl who hid in her bedroom for all those years is gone. My message is that I’m a survivor, not a victim. Having scars is no different than having tattoos.”
At 19, she did her first shoot for photographer Phil Hargreaves. Since then, she has revealed her scars for numerous photo shoots. It takes courage! Labonya, who uses minimal make-up to cover her scars states: “I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to raise awareness for burns survivors around the world, as well as aspiring for my own dreams.”
Labonya has always had the support and love of her close friends and family. A very treasured friend one day encouraged her to show her true face. Mixed reactions are what she got the next day at high school.
Now studying chemistry at Bradford University, she is hoping to become a figurehead for other burns victims. “I want to continue my studies and do modelling as a way of supporting the burns survivors’ community. I hope that other survivors will see my photos and realise there’s nothing wrong with them.”
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams. Thank you NEXT, for making it all come true for Labonya. She has a very promising career ahead of her.
Photo: Courtesy of NEXT