She is known for her sexy image and is often clad in swimsuits, lingerie and skimpy outfits that flaunt her 32C-24-34 figure.
As Malaysia’s first Playboy Bunny, professional “mermaid for hire” and ONE FC ring girl, this is par for the course for Malaysian model Felixia Yeap, reports The New Paper.
Now the 27-year-old hopes to leave those racy days behind for good. It may be hard to digest this about-turn, but she says she is more comfortable in modest clothing that does not show off bare skin or emphasise her curves.
Yeap, who said that she is still “in transition”, hopes to reduce the number of sexy modelling gigs she does next year to less than half of what she did this year, and then stop doing them.
But for now, she still has to fulfil contractual agreements with Playboy until early next year and a Malaysian men’s magazine until February.
The first time that she put on a tudung (a Malay headdress) was during a casting for a television commercial earlier this year. Even though she did not land the job, it moved her to put it on again.
“I thought I looked quite good in it and I felt comfortable, different and happy,” she said, adding that she feels “free, protected and safe” when wearing it.
Following that, she donned a tudung for a Hari Raya fashion show.
Now, Yeap puts on the tudung whenever she goes out and is not required to dress provocatively for work. Her wardrobe currently comprises about 70 per cent conservative attire after she sent half of her tight dresses, shorts and skirts to her mother in Ipoh.
“The more I put on the tudung, the more I realise it’s what I want. Ever since I put it on, there are times I will cry after I come back from jobs that require me to look, dress and act sexily. I know I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s not me. I know there’s more to life than being a sex symbol."
“I don’t drink, smoke, have casual sex or do drugs. I took up modelling as I am the sole breadwinner of my family and I need to support them. Back in school, I was a big nerd and never popular or pretty. I was quiet and people called me names. I was born into a conservative family,” she said. She also mentioned that sexy modelling was not her cup of tea.
“I felt used by men who would see me at events and approach me for sex, not for marriage, due to my sexy modelling image,” Yeap said of her experience in the industry, which she said is a factor for the change. “Men also touched me in a manner that I am not comfortable with, some repeatedly. I had to tell them off,” she said.
Netizens also questioned her decision to let her provocative photos remain on her personal blog and Facebook page.
“These are my achievements in the modelling scene and part of who I am. It also serves as a lesson — if I can change, so can others,” she said.
The former kindergarten teacher became a model at the age of 19 and later, a Playboy Bunny when she did a one-month waitressing stint with Macau’s Playboy Club Sands Macao in 2011. She then continued her modelling career in order to support her mother and younger brother in Ipoh.