Here’s a face that needs no introduction. Having been in the limelight
since the age of 12, Amanda Griffin is a name to be reckoned with. She’s a talent, a model, a TV host and, most notably, a VJ on Channel [V].She’s a businesswoman too, having opened swimwear boutique Tabu, which is known to be one of the best suppliers of swimwear in the Philippines. “Tabu is ‘taboo’ in Spanish. Some think it’s a taboo to show a lot skin and it’s not. We’re trying to change the mindset a little,” she says. We caught up with her during one of her recent visits to Malaysia to find out how this 24-year-old is coping with the attention and the fame that she’s been
How has fame treated you? Is it easy to be on the streets without being recognised?It’s a little harder these days. But it’s not like I get mobbed by fans. Usually, they just call out my name. Sometimes, no one recognises me at all, which I
Do you get really bizarre fan mail? Yea! Marriage proposals, the occasional rude ones. Someone was obsessed with my armpits and wanted to lick them so that was weird. For Christmas, I received a present with a long letter from this guy saying he had been obsessed with me since 1987. He saw me as a kid, I was modelling then and he said he made eye contact. That freaked me out!
Do you think, being a celebrity, you’re a role model too? Definitely. I get a lot of young girls coming up to me. Being a VJ is one of the jobs that young girls
aspire to have. Anyone in the public eye is a role model.
That translates to a big responsibility, especially to the young ones, doesn’t it? Yes. Sometimes you forget people know who you are. I mean, you don’t walk around thinking everyone knows you, do you? So you have to be a little bit more self-aware.
So, being in the business, you have to love the limelight and all the attention, right? That’s all right. Well, I don’t feel famous. I’d rather go out and not be recognised, do my own thing and all that but it comes with the job. But who wouldn’t enjoy the perks?
What, in your opinion, keeps one’s celebrity status? You have to be out there. And you always have to come up with something new because people get bored seeing the same thing over and over. You just have to keep on being
interesting. That’s why people like Madonna constantly reinvent themselves.
I think she’s going to be famous forever. Michael Jackson’s been around, he’s not doing it the right way but well, he’s in the limelight. Being a VJ, you meet other celebrities on the job.
And how’s it like working with the other VJs? When we’re together, it’s a lot of girly fun. Sarah [Tan] is really sweet and Paula [Malai Ali] is a riot, she’s really
funny. I admire Cindy [Burbridge], we’re pretty similar in terms of work ethic.
You also host TV shows in the Philippines and you have the Tabu
swimwear boutique. How do you cope with your busy schedule? It is the way I like it. I hate it when I sit around doing nothing.
How involved are you with the operations of Tabu? I’m very hands-on. My partner takes care of the day-to-day operations, my major is marketing and PR which I do for the store.
Do you model for your own store? Of course. I’m free for my store. My girlfriends model for discounted prices. Sarah [Tan] models for me too.
AMANDA’S FAST FACTS
Music she listens to? I listen to pretty much everything. It’s not about genre, just basically what I like. My musical taste is very eclectic but what I really don’t like is country. I listen to Tracy Chapman, Sarah Mclachlan, Jewel, Beyonce, Alanis Morissette , Norah Jones, Eminem, Incubus… I can just go on and on.
How does she chill out? If I have the time, I like to go to the beach. That’s why I opened Tabu. I’m a sun person, which is bad for my work especially modelling because people don’t like you to get dark. Her personal style?Jeans, T-shirt and slippers, if I can get away with it. That’s my day uniform. I’m a jeans addict, I have maybe 40 pairs of jeans.
Her beauty regime? Wash, moisturise a lot, drink lots of water, no coffee and try to sleep. It’s hard, my face gets really stressed out with makeup all the time due to my job. I don’t get eight hours of sleep which I like to get.
Morning/ night person? In general, I’m not a morning person. It takes me a while to wake up.
What she can’t miss in a day? Playing with my dogs, I have three at home. And eating chocolates. That I have to do everyday!