Teen model puts name out there


Photo contributed by Tin Par.

Tin Par, beginner model, begins with small photo shoots. She veered away from what Chins normally do to pursue something new.

Perry Meridian High School alumni Mai Tin Par might not be the first Chin woman to pursue modeling, but she is one of the very first to be featured in a magazine.

While working for the State and attending school at Ivy Tech to pursue her Elementary Education Degree, Par is involved with modeling only as a part time gig. Par was officially labeled as a model in February of this year.

Although she has always been interested in fashion and makeup, she never wanted modeling as a career. Par admired busy women in suits running from place to place so she wanted to get a feel of their lives. She would never want to put achieving her degree in any other place than at the top of her priorities. Therefore, doing this is just a hobby to kill her free time.

“I find it exhausting,” Par said, “But I love every bit of it.”

Pursuing her childhood dream all started when a model posted one of Par’s photos from her social media and shared it in a page of well known models, agencies, agents and photographers. Out of nowhere, individuals who wanted to work with her started contacting her.

According to Par, she was reached out by an agency but did not agree with their terms. Therefore, she did not sign their contract. There are other agencies willing to promote her but as of right now, she is flying solo. She is still looking for the right one to understand her needs and wants.

Her family was surprised when they first found out about her involvement with modeling because it was something out of the ordinary that they’d ever see her do, but they gave her all the support she needs. Her younger sister, Mai Debe Hniang, who is a junior at Perry Meridian thinks it suits her very well.

“It was something that had always attracted her attention ever since she was young,” Hniang said.

Her best friend, Nancherry Lungtum, whom she’s known for 10 years, has also always motivated Par and pushed her in the right direction. She always had hoped for Par to succeed in this field and gave her the best advice.

“I never tell her what she wants to hear,” Lungtum said. “I tell her what she needs to hear in a nice way.”

Par says she just likes meeting new people and going to new places. She likes surrounding herself with people who are motivated and determined just as she is so that they can be there to push each other and do nothing but support one another.

As much as she enjoys it, Par is against doing anything that can sabotage her future career as a teacher so she strictly tells agencies and photographers her limits and boundaries. She will not involve herself with doing anything risky like body painting, sculpting, nudity and etc. Because of this, many turn their back against her since she sticks strongly to her culture and will not agree to what they envision her to dress or be like. Wearing crop tops and bikinis are a different story for her. She does not see a problem with these items because everything that needs to be covered is covered.

Par wants to encourage every Chin, even the men to pursue modeling if they’d like to. She believes people should try what they want at least when they’re young and represent where they came from. Par believes they shouldn’t just sit back and and keep pushing great experiences to the side. She thinks that being involved in side hobbies like she currently is, is not a subject to evil at all but school should come first.

“Furthering your degree is beautiful,” Par said.

If all goes well her next goal is to be able to spend Christmas with both her grandmothers after 22 years of not being able to see the sun rise at the same time for any holidays.

“I love the city but I will always be a farmer’s granddaughter at heart,” Par said.