Photographing them for this spread isn’t hard - the shoot location at the LINC KL is a serene set up with a beautiful, green courtyard, giving us just the right amount of natural light to work with. But the stars of the shoot, winners of SHAPE Fit People 2019, Jaclyn Choo and Raj Ahmed, are also both diligent when it comes to taking instructions from the team for thesephotographs. Jaclyn keeps heading back to the camera screen to check her poses after a series of clicks so she could improvise.Perhaps it is a habit borne out of her pole dancing background which also requires her to get into visually-pleasing poses.“Looking at these helps me to pose better,” says the 33-year-old pole dancer and chair fitness instructor, who recently came in first place in the Exotic Chair Dance category at her first international level competition in Manila in March.
On the other hand, Raj, 41, a Spartan Race ambassador, who isn’t as used to posing upon instruction, is making great progress, too.He isn’t camera-shy, as he weighs in every bit of instruction from the team like a pro. We had a little chat with them about what keeps them happy and healthy, and here’s what we know:
What are your thoughts on body confidence?
JACLYN: “We are not defined by our bodies, nor does it determine the impact we have on others. Prior to pole dancing, I struggled with confidence, both mentally and physically. I have always been that super self-conscious person, especially with my 148cm tall physique, body image and the perception of beauty. Pole dancing has helped me tremendously with self-acceptance and body confidence. Essentially, it is about what the human body is capable of doing.”
RAJ: “Body confidence just means being comfortable in your own skin, and a fitness journey could get you where you need to be. I think fitness on social media needs to be more responsible. I am not a fan of beautiful-looking people with ripped bodies sharing photos of how good they look with no supporting photos or videos of achieving it. I would much rather watch a video of them working out, stretching, preparing a meal, or photos of them having fun with family and friends.”
Makeup Sue Koh & Janice Mak using Dermalogica & Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics
Hair Sue Koh Styling assisted by Sarah Hamzah Venue The LINC KL