the fame

Of Glamour & Grit

Shirin the fame

In this heartfelt monologue, Shirin Akter Sheela shares her incredible journey and the challenges she’s faced as a Bangladeshi model, showcasing the determination, grace, and strength that empower her to reach for the stars.

I embarked on this extraordinary voyage when the renowned Sushmita Sen bestowed upon me the title of Miss Universe Bangladesh in 2019. The title wasn’t just a crown; it was a promise to myself, a promise to challenge the norms and break the mold. You see, I’ve always been the tall girl, standing tall amidst those who sometimes failed to appreciate the beauty in diversity. They called me names, mocked my height, but within me burned a fierce desire to prove them wrong. The beauty pageant was my canvas to redefine my identity and silence the naysayers.

 Today, as I walk into a room, I become a symphony of whispers and a center of attention. Some call it an aura, while others describe it as a commanding presence. To me, it’s the culmination of an arduous journey and the realization of a dream. I am Shirin Akter Shela, and I’ve embarked on a remarkable odyssey through the realm of fashion and beauty.

 My identity is intrinsically tied to representing Bangladesh on the global stage. The Miss Universe Bangladesh crown was just the beginning of a series of triumphs. The most recent one was at the enchanting Asia Model Festival in South Korea, where I transitioned from a participant in 2019 to a judge in 2022 – a transformation underscored by unwavering dedication. It’s a heartwarming experience, made even more special by the remarkable performances of my fellow Bangladeshi delegates, Mir Maryam Ahmed and Hasnat Jami.

 Delving deeper, let’s discuss the state of the fashion industry in Bangladesh. Despite our collective efforts, challenges persist. Our artisans struggle to receive the recognition they deserve, young designers crave opportunities, and aspiring models await their chance in a world often clouded by negativity and selfishness. I must express my profound gratitude to Azra Mahmood, a mentor and guide who continues to illuminate our industry’s path of evolution.

 As for mentoring the next generation of models, it’s a humbling aspiration. Our industry boasts illustrious seniors who have left an indelible mark as mentors. My satisfaction lies in inspiring and representing Bangladesh on the global stage, embracing my role as a torchbearer for the generations that will follow.

 My journey extends from modeling to acting, with “Pett Kata Shaw” being the chrysalis where I embraced the art of the silver screen. The question remains: will I venture further into the world of cinema? It’s a possibility that hovers in the air, a chapter I may write someday. Yet, it’s crucial to emphasize that my roots, my essence, remain deeply intertwined with the world of modeling.

 My recent journey led me to participate in a “Made in Bangladesh” fashion show in the City of Light and Love, Paris. It’s a privilege to carry the flag of Bangladesh, a testament to the heights we can reach together.

 But my narrative cannot end without underscoring a passionate belief that courses through my veins. Girls, especially in Bangladesh, need unwavering support to carve their path toward a brighter future. As a symbol of elegance and achievement in the world of fashion, I stand as a testament to the boundless opportunities awaiting them. I’m ready to walk hand in hand with the trailblazers of tomorrow, lighting the way.

 And last but not least, the movie I am currently shooting for has ignited a profound sense of excitement and anticipation within me. It is unlike any project I have undertaken in my career thus far. This cinematic endeavor delves deep into the intricate and enigmatic chemistry of human bonds, exploring the intricate tapestry of emotions, relationships, and connections that shape our lives.

 As I immerse myself in this compelling narrative, I find that every character I have the privilege to portray becomes a profound piece of a larger, awe-inspiring mosaic. Each role I inhabit adds layers of depth to my perspective, enriching my understanding of the intricate nuances of the human experience. It’s a humbling and exhilarating journey, one that encourages me to push the boundaries of my craft and reach new horizons in the world of cinema.

 The prospect of this film project fills me with a sense of eager enthusiasm and a touch of humble gratitude. It’s an opportunity to challenge myself, to explore uncharted territories of storytelling, and to share narratives that resonate with the hearts and minds of the audience. The future beckons with its mysteries, and I stand poised, eager to unveil them one frame at a time, one character at a time.


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