Maureen Wroblewitz on dealing with bullies and gaining confidence

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“Expect the unexpected,” indeed, as the shortest, youngest, and most inexperienced contestant in Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5 was named winner of the reality modeling competition. 

Filipino-German Maureen Wroblewitz never thought she’d come as far as being in the Top 3 of the competition. Standing at 5’6” (1.68 meters), she was one of the two shortest among finalists (the other one was another PH representative, Jennica Sanchez). At 18 years old, during the competition, she was the youngest. To top it all off, she was considered the most inexperienced contestant, having no background prior to joining the Asian franchise of Tyra Banks’ show. 

She was hardly a strong contender at the beginning of the show, and was immediately discounted and underestimated by her competitors. “At first, people were already doubting me,” said Wroblewitz. 

The representative from the Philippines had been in the bottom two twice

Even Wroblewitz had a hard time finding herself and gaining the confidence needed to win. 

“All the time I was told to believe in myself, to trust my instincts, and to feel confident, but then I would always feel confused,” admitted the 19-year-old model. “I was doubting myself, I never knew what I’m doing in front of the camera.”

She shared she became conscious and shy to show poses because she knew the other girls who have more experience were watching and judging her. But she eventually learned to be more confident as the show progressed. 

“I said to myself , ‘just forget about them, do your thing. You’re doing it for yourself, not for them or anyone else’. I learned more and started getting better and better and felt more confident. I really learned to love myself and learn more about myself,” related Wroblewitz. 

The inexperienced contestant became a “sponge,” and absorbed everything being told to her. The PH representative eventually landed on the top spot twice—becoming a threat to other finalists. 

She was called a “pretty face with no skills,” words that pushed Wroblewitz to further do her best. 

NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE. Maureen Wroblewitz proved her critics who told her she’s just a ‘pretty face with no skills’ wrong after winning Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5. Photos from asntm.com

“I got bullied—they will come at me and try to bring me down. Maybe they felt threatened by me,” she confessed. 

But in the end, the youngest, shortest, and most inexperienced contestant proved her critics wrong. On June 28, Wroblewitz was named the Asia’s Next Top Model, a first win for the Philippines since we started sending representatives in 2012. 

“Always expect the unexpected—with her quiet determination, Maureen put all that she had learned to good use to make her country, family, friends, and the judges exceptionally proud. She deserved to be crowned the winner of Asia’s Next Top Model Season 5,” said series host Cindy Bishop.

Along with Bishop in the panel were AsNTM creative director and photographer Yu Tsai, Nylon Singapore editor in chief Adele Chan, Storm Model Management’s Ruby Adler, and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

“Winning Asia’s Next Top Model is a dream that I never want to wake up from,” said the elated Wroblewitz. “I’m really happy that I can prove them (critics) wrong. I’m not just a pretty face, I’m more than that.”

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