Jade Rasif's bodybuilder sister is Miss Universe Singapore hopeful
Trio are early hopefuls for MUS 2018
Her muscular and athletic physique may not fit the image some may have of a beauty queen.
But that has not stopped freelance personal trainer and bodybuilder Tyen Rasif, 22, from being one of the early birds to register for this year's Miss Universe Singapore (MUS).
The younger sister of local DJ-actress Jade Rasif said she joined MUS to show that there is beauty in strength.
Miss Rasif said her sister, who came in second in The New Paper New Face 2013 modelling contest, has been "supportive", giving her make-up and modelling tips.
Until June 10, women aged 18 to 28 can sign up to represent Singapore on the world stage in the annual pageant. Interested parties can sign up at missuniversesingapore.com.sg. There are $30,000 worth of prizes to be won, including $10,000 cash.
Miss Rasif, a third-year business management, marketing and communications undergraduate from the Singapore Management University, told The New Paper: "Jade has always encouraged me to put myself out there, but we have different personalities. I never thought I had a pretty enough or attractive face like she does.
"However, after I discovered fitness, I learnt there is beauty in having a fit and strong body."
Four years ago, she picked up her first pair of dumbbells and started working out and eating better to cope with stress. The past three years have also seen Miss Rasif training for bodybuilding competitions.
Using the MUS platform, she believes she can inspire others to make fitness a bigger part of their lives and empower them to have a healthy body image.
"I want to encourage people to find fitness as a way to improve their mental and physical well-being so they can be strong enough to overcome obstacles," she said.
Miss Rasif, who is 1.65m tall and weighs 53kg, works out four to five days a week. She can deadlift 120kg and do an 80kg squat.
Earlier this month, she placed third and fourth in the women's bikini fitness national and international categories respectively at the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Singapore Nationals.
Within the past year, she also competed in four bodybuilding events, including the 52nd Asian Championship organised by the Asian Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness in April, where she emerged runner-up, and the Olympia Amateur Asia, where she came in fourth place.
On MUS, Miss Rasif said: "I believe MUS is not just a fashion model but a role model.
"I want to be able to capture the essence of the Singapore woman - a balance of grit and grace."
She also feels her build helps her stand out, adding: "While the girls (typically) look fit, I have not come across a body type like mine."
Other MUS applicants so far include two New Face alumnae.
A trip to a rural area in Bangkok in March spurred Miss Sharin Keong, who won New Face 2012, to join the pageant.
The 26-year-old pre-school teacher noticed children jumping into rivers and others selling items on streets to make money.
She told TNP: "I saw the stark difference between the children there and in Singapore. The children here are fortunate to afford education, while others can't."
She started to learn Thai so she could volunteer to teach English to children there.
Miss Keong, who has a diploma in the Montessori method of education and will be pursuing a degree in early childhood education next year, believes the MUS stage is the perfect platform to raise awareness for her cause - education for all.
"Without education, children may not be able to unlock their full potential, which is why I believe basic education is so important," said the 1.72m freelance model.
She hopes her MUS experience will allow her to expand her network.
Miss Hemarupa Chandrasekar, 18, a New Face 2016 finalist, sees MUS as a chance to gain more confidence.
"This is a large-scale competition, and there will be lots to learn from," she said.
The 1.66m tall Nanyang Polytechnic business management student added: "I have watched MUS shows on television as I have always found them interesting... (like) how all the girls carry themselves professionally onstage, answer questions boldly and have so much of heart to give back to society."