photography by www.jassophotos.com
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know the BG cover girls this month. They each are so unique and have amazing stories to tell. Last but not least is Manesha!
What is your ethnic/cultural background?
I am from Sri Lanka and I am Singhalese. I was born in Houston, TX but I have visited Sri Lanka many times. Through my visits, I learned to speak our language, Singhalese, fluently. Even though I grew up in America, I still love to immerse myself in the Sri Lankan culture!
What do you do now and what do you hope to do in the future?
I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Human Biology/Pre-Med degree a few years ago. I have recently completed my MPH (Master of Public Health) and I’ve been doing research on adolescent health in the Medical Center. I hope to continue working with youth in the future, particularly high-risk youth and those with social disparities. Also, I am currently in the process of publishing my manuscript to a journal. It’s a lot of work, but I can’t wait until it gets published!
One of my major hobbies is basketball! I play pick-up games 4 days a week for about 3 hours a day. It’s the greatest stress reliever, plus it keeps me in shape! I used to be a tomboy, so I guess my interest in sports never left me! One of my other talents is singing. I have performed at various events, including being one of the 21 people that made it to the American Idol experience in Disneyworld out of the 10,000 people that auditioned. I also try to karaoke every week to keep my vocal chords in check!
What do you think is the best part about being a Brown Girl?
I think the best part of being a Brown Girl is our uniqueness. I love embracing our culture! Our food, our language, our cultural up-bringing all shape us into who we are and adds that touch of uniqueness to us!
Jacqueline Fernandez is my Brown Girl Idol! She is a Sri Lankan actress and was Ms. Sri Lanka Universe in 2006. She put Sri Lanka on the map!
Tell us about your modeling experience.
I wouldn’t say I’m a professional model, I’m a professional researcher. I do modeling on the side, almost as a fun hobby. I used to get scouted quite a bit when I was younger since they thought I had a “different/exotic” look (I am a brown girl and we do look different J), but about 4 years ago I started doing promotional modeling. What really paved the way for me was that I had a friend who is an amazing designer who used me as one of her models, which opened the door for other modeling opportunities. Since then, I’ve been in many fashion shows and enjoy doing runway the most! I feel it puts life to the clothing, plus we can add a little bit of our own personality to our walk! I have also been in a few music videos and recently an upcoming commercial for a major cosmetics line. I love exploring fashion and getting in touch with my girlier side to balance out my tomboy-ish sports loving side!