SHE completely stepped out of her comfort zone to audition for the Fiji Fashion Week limited organised Miss Teen model competition and now Luisa Taleniwesi is thankful she did.
Taleniwesi, 16, from Dawa Village in Natewa, Vanua Levu, is one of 20 finalists for the Nivea-sponsored competition.
She says walking in front of the judges during auditions left her nervous and scared.
"I could feel my legs shaking with every step, my hands were shaking, palms sweaty and my heart was beating so fast," she said.
"It was completely outside of my comfort zone. I am a shy person, always have been. But getting up on that stage took so much confidence that I didn't think I had."
Yesterday she joined the other participants in the first round of competition for the Miss Photogenic category at the Lagoon Resort in Pacific Harbour.
"I didn't think I would get this far. This is the first time I have done a bold thing such as this and I am glad I did.
"I found out about the competition from my cousin and he encouraged me to enter.
"The response from my family and friends has been great, my brother can't believe that I'm actually doing this because he doesn't think I can have a serious face on when I model. I'm always the one making the people at home laugh."
Taleniwesi said she was looking forward to gaining as much as she could from the competition, and the beginning of her modelling career.
"I believe every young woman should be confident in everything that they do. And for me, it's entering this competition that has given me that."