Priyanka Rani Joshi, who was crowned first runner up in the fourth edition of the En Vogue modeling contest in 2016, started modeling when she was 17 years old but she confesses that she never thought of modeling as a career option. Rather, it was just a hobby for her. Joshi says she has always prioritized education above all else and modeling was something she got into because she chanced upon it.
“It has never been hard for me to juggle the two – my studies and work. I make it a point not to take up shoots and assignments unless I feel I can take some time off studying,” she says adding that there have been times when she has had modeling opportunities come her way when she has been inundated with studies and she has taken them up because they have felt too good to be true. But other than those rare instances, she has always given priority to her studies.
She says her passion and ambition are two different things and she won’t allow one to clash with the other. Modeling, she says, has made her a better person, in terms of how she communicates and networks. She further claims that networking with people is a very uplifting experience. Each person she meets inspires her in a different way. Studying, on the other hand, has made her more disciplined and confident about herself. It gives her a sense of worth, far more than anything else does, and she’s not willing to let that feeling go.
Joshi, whose childhood dream was to be a news anchor and report things as they happened, says that she was determined to pursue media studies from very early on. “Many people think it’s my modeling stint that got me interested in media studies but it actually isn’t so. I’ve just always been interested in this field,” she says.
For Joshi, education isn’t also only about a degree. It’s what builds your identity, she says, which is why she is adamant that she will not quit studies to pursue a modeling career, no matter how enticing the offer. However, that is not to say that modeling doesn’t have its perks. Joshi says it’s a very demanding and challenging profession, one that hones your skills and develops your personality. “It definitely grooms both your body and mind,” she says. But Joshi laments that people only see the glamorous side of modeling and often disregard the hard work models have to put in to perfect their art.
“People also generally have a misconception that modeling is an easy profession where you get all dolled up and recite some random dialogue. What nobody considers is that even a simple shoot can take an entire day and it’s usually very grueling,” she says.
Joshi says she is always fascinated by how actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn used to style herself. She adds that a lot of what inspires us comes from what we watch and so she finds herself drawing inspiration from the styles of the protagonists of Gossip Girls, Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen.
Apart from these celebrities, Joshi says that it’s her parents who are her biggest inspirations. They, she says, have always motivated her to lead a positive life, no matter what her circumstances are. She believes this support and guidance have been good for her mental growth. It’s also made her a better person, she says.
But there are certain things in life that only independence can teach you, she says. She felt the truest sense of independence when she had to take care of herself while she was studying in Darjeeling, far away from home. Many people might think that being at ease with the camera and connecting with people were things, or rather skills, that modeling taught her when in fact it was the learning experiences that came with living away from home that made her that way.
For her future, Joshi has many alternate plans. She wants to explore various areas. First, she wants to pursue gemology and open a jewelry shop just like her mother. Then, she also dreams of pursuing law because she feels she can contribute to the betterment of our nation by learning the rules that govern the country. And that’s not all either. This beauty with brains also intends to get involved in the tourism sector.
“I help my dad at his traveling agency and I have realized that the tourism sector needs some serious focus in Nepal. There is a lot of untapped potential in this sector and I wish to do something about that too,” she says.
It might seem like a lot for one person but Joshi believes she has what it takes to turn her plans into reality. And judging by how disciplined and focused she already is, you could say she is well on her way.