As the former Australian Brand Ambassador for high profile fashion label Forever 21, seventeen year old Natalia Siam is a fast rising star in the world of modelling and media.
The leggy 175cm blond beauty grew up in Thailand and her stage name reflects her love of the Land of Smiles. After relocating with her family to Australia, she was recently signed by the prestigious talent agency IMG which has recognized her allure on camera and her growing appeal on social media.
Currently she attends her last year of school in Sydney, Australia, works on regular modelling assignments, attends castings and in her spare time helps to promote the Fred Hollows Foundation.
“I especially want to use my social media platform to help people in need and seeing the work of the Fred Hollows’ doctors and staff I am inspired to do the same”.
Her efforts so far include donating the proceeds of her self-written and deeply personal children’s book about school bullies.
“Since becoming an official fundraiser for the Fred hollows foundation, I wanted to understand how much of an impact not being able to see would have on my motion skills”.
As a result of this curiosity, Natalie spent a full day discovering what it means to be blind. She donned a pair of Fred Hollows shades, totally covered her eyes and embarked on a range of activities on camera.
The day included navigating her home environment, arts & crafts and normally simple tasks like putting on make-up,
“It’s one thing to read about blindness but it’s another thing altogether to experience it.”
The team at Fred Hollows was keen to see the results too and filmed with Natalia for the day to document her efforts. It proved to be a highly emotional experience.
“We are hoping to reach out a younger audience and educate teenagers about the world wide efforts undertaken by the Fred Hollows Foundation”, says Nick Martin, Director of Public Affairs for the Fred Hollows Foundation.
“Much of our work restoring sight to the blind through pioneering eye surgery is focused on children and young people.
It’s important that other young people in better circumstances understand those efforts and maybe look more towards a better future for everyone.”
“It really brought the message home to me when I put on the cataract simulation glasses and saw what life was like in a blurry and dark environment,” says Natalia. “It only costs $25 to make a difference. It’s so little to change someone’s life so I urge everyone to please donate.”
Natalia has over 1,000 followers on Linkedin, more than 22,000 on Facebook and around 40,000 on Instagram.
That’s a powerful reach for a talented Sydney schoolgirl with a bright future who nonetheless remains focused on helping the less fortunate.
Natalia’s “Blind for a Day” video can be viewed here: