The many other jobs of young models in Malaysia: Drugs, booze & loneliness

The many other jobs of young models in Malaysia: Drugs, booze & loneliness

December 25, 2017 0 By WFTV

Photo Credit: Video grab of Slow Fashion Catwalk

In an article by the BBC.com, the lifestyle of models working in Malaysia and in other parts of Asia – including China, Russia – came under scrutiny.

A model working in Malaysia says it’s not the modelling jobs themselves that are the concern for the young victims, but “the many other jobs that are going around for models”.

It’s not known if this was the case with Ms Smit, but there are plenty of offers, for instance, to just be a party girl, said the BBC portal.

These girls may earn up to $1,200 (£900) for five hours of simply hanging out at a party, and the model who spoke to the BBC said ‘it is tempting’.

Drugs and alcohol are a huge problem in those situations, says model Carl Graham.

“Most of the models have been away from a family unit since very young, they have insecurities and possible issues. And they’re drowning them with parties, alcohol and drugs.”

Young girls in the industry, some in their early teens, often have very little life experience. The pressure is immense and they can struggle to cope with the glittering world they are thrown into.

Earlier this month, the 18 year old Ivan Smit a Dutch national who had worked as a model for many years, was found dead at the bottom of a high rise building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The circumstances of her tragic death remain a mystery.

It’s a story of beauty and death, rife with speculations around sex, drugs and alcohol – and it raises troubling questions about the risks and dangers those in the industry can face, wrote the BBC.

Reports said Ms Smit fell to her death naked from a balcony 20 floors high, reportedly after going home to the apartment with a couple after a party.

Her parents were told by police there was no crime suspected, though investigations are continuing.

The Dutch foreign ministry told the BBC that Interpol had been contacted over the case.

The details of her death are unclear. Having reportedly gone with an older couple to their apartment, she fell to her death in the early hours of the morning.

Her body was discovered that afternoon on a sixth floor balcony, according to media reports, with alcohol and drugs detected in her blood.

Ivana’s family, who flew out to Malaysia, told Dutch media they’d seen marks on her neck.

Ivana Smit had spent most of her life in Malaysia, growing up with her grandparents in Penang.

That’s where she started modelling, at the age of 13. After a few years with her parents in the Netherlands, she had just returned to Malaysia and only last month moved to Kuala Lumpur, working as a freelancer, not through an agency.

“She had better opportunities back here,” Natalie Woodworth, a childhood friend of Ivana’s from Penang, told the BBC.

“I still remember her saying to me: ‘I’m back to where I should be.’ She was extremely happy to be back in Malaysia.”

Read about the reactions from the victim’s parents in the full story here: 

Ivana Smit: Model’s death in Malaysia casts a long shadow