Asia’s Next Top Model. The fashion industry – its modeling aspect, in particular is often criticized for apparent lack of racial diversity. And although the situation has slightly improved in the past few years, with more African and East Asian models getting signed up for work, Southeast Asian women remain underrepresented. There are a lot of different definitions of beauty now; it’s not just the so-called classic type usually associated with Caucasian looks… People are starting to go for different types of beauty

The Filipino contenders in the third season of reality talent search “Asia’s Next Top Model,” however, are optimistic that things will soon change, and that more local models will get the chance to break into the international scene.

Amanda, born and raised by Cebuano parents in Australia, produced the best photo in the program’s first episode and received the first call out. “I think of modeling as a viable profession and I want to do it full-time,” said Amanda, who idolizes one of the current superstars of fashion, British model Cara Delevingne.

A Filipino has yet to win this show, now in its third season. “Thus, the pressure,” Amanda added. “Also, because our past representatives did really well.” Franchesca Lagua believes that Filipino models possess qualities that could definitely make them stand out. “Our skin color, for instance, is beautiful,” said the 23-year-old, who has been modeling and doing television commercials for the past five years.

“Asia’s Next Top Model” season 2 runner-up Jodilly Pendre was also at the launch and offered her take on the subject. She would love to see a Filipino supermodel in the future, she said. “But of course, it takes time; we have to do it step by step—nothing is instant. But that’s not a problem. Filipinos are very hardworking and we are known to maximize opportunities.”

Another Filipino. Aside from Amanda and Franchesca, another Filipino, Monika Sta. Maria, likewise made it to the Top 14, which features contestants from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan. The show is hosted by Filipino model Georgina Wilson, and is joined in the judging panel by fellow Filipino model Joey Mead, with Australian designer Alex Perry.