Born in England, proud to represent Singapore

Born in England, proud to represent Singapore

Despite being a Briton born in Oldham, England, Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw, a Singapore permanent resident, said she is a "Singaporean at heart".

"I'm definitely proud to be representing Singapore (is Asia's Next Top Model). I wouldn't want to be representing any other country.

"England may be where I was from, but I haven't lived there since I was very young. So really, Singapore is my home."

Cheng-Bradshaw, the second of four girls, moved here when she was 10.

When she was younger, her family regularly relocated to different countries because of her father's job.

Her English father works in the oil trading industry and her Shanghainese mother owns a cafe.

Cheng-Bradshaw has lived in England, China and South Africa, but she settled here when her father decided that this is where he and his wife would retire.

Both are proud of their daughter for pursuing her dream.

"I think the greatest challenge growing up was when I had to move around a lot. It's not always easy being the new kid.

"When you're in a foreign place, you don't know anybody and how to get to places and have to rely on yourself.

"It does make you stronger, more independent, but then it's also something that's difficult," she said.

Cheng-Bradshaw said her favourite local food alternates between chicken rice and fishball noodles.

Although she speaks with an American accent untainted by Singlish, like most Singaporeans, she is bilingual and speaks fluent Mandarin.

"I also understand the Shanghai dialect because my mum speaks it over the phone, but I can't speak it," she said.

Cheng-Bradshaw has a Chinese-Singaporean boyfriend who is also 19.

She did not name him, but said he is a former Singapore American School schoolmate who is doing his National Service.

She said: "We started dating only after high school, but we were best friends before that. I met him when I was 13."

JEALOUS

But her boyfriend is not too pleased about the male attention she has been getting.

"A few months ago, there were like five or six times where a guy would walk up to me and say, 'Hey, you're really cute, can I have your number?' and I would say 'I have a boyfriend...' and walk away quickly.

"(My boyfriend) will say, 'I don't want them to think you're pretty!'

"But it doesn't really affect me because I love my boyfriend and I really just have my eye on the prize," she said.


This article was first published on April 11, 2015.
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