Nia Atasha Rosli, 22, Model and Visual Artist
T-shirt, Levi’s Kittie Yiy; suede jacket and beret, Nia’s own.
Model Nia Atasha Rosli may have had her big break thanks to CLEO’s very own sister magazine five years ago, but she still loves every moment of it. Ever-curious, she thrives in uncertainty but the thought of not knowing fills her with excitement. As a model, she too knows how hard it is to deal with racism, body shaming, sexual harassment and models’ pay, which are common struggles for those in the industry. Luckily for Nia, she has her mother to draw strength from and to look up to.
Briefly tell us about the most significant turning point of your career?
As a model, it has to be my first ever beauty shoot for Seventeen Magazine, back in December of 2013. When the issue came out, people assumed I was a model and I started getting professional paid jobs.
What’s the biggest troubles facing the modelling scene, be it local or global?
Racism, body shaming, sexual harassment, model’s pay are all issues prevalent in the industry. And every time you’re on set, you’re objectified somehow. Too often I see models, including myself, being taken advantage of.
My mother! She has always been an amazing woman and she remains the strength icon I look up to. Despite everything she’s been through, not once have I ever heard her complain. I really want to be as strong as she is.
– Nia on the woman who inspires her.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done in your life?
Honestly, modelling! I started modelling without telling my parents and back when I used to study in Perak, I would have to go back and forth between states for work and school. And because I couldn’t drive back then, I’d have to commute by taxi, bus or train. As crazy as it was juggling work and studies back then, it was so much fun!
What are you most curious about in life?
Uncertainty. Not knowing what will happen in the next hour, day or year makes some people feel unease but it has always filled me with inexplicable excitement.