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Meet The Model Behind The Cover Of The November 2021 Issue Of InLife International: Abi Grigsby


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Abi Grigsby initially kickstarted her career in the modelling industry by joining beauty pageants. She originally joined the Top Model of the World Philippines pageant back in July 2016 within two weeks’ notice – the pageant needed a certain number of contestants in order for the competition to proceed, and the director of the pageant contacted her to join. Even though she was a last-minute contestant, she still ended up as second runner-up, which surprised her as she had no previous experience at all when it comes to pageants, so she wasn’t even expecting to make it as a Top 5 finalist.

The following year she joined the “Mutya Ng Pilipinas Australia” (Pearl of Australia) beauty pageant. Joining this pageant enabled her to gain a lot of exposure in the modelling industry which led her into meeting the majority of the photographers that she now works with regularly. When she competed overseas during the 2017 Miss International Australia pageant, she gained several contacts with various modelling agencies and photographers. She eventually ended up as second runner-up, and she also captured the Miss Model of the World Title. Furthermore, she competed in the Miss Teen Universe Australia pageant in December of that year. All of these competitions led her to meet so many creatives in the industry; photographers who were looking for fresh faces to shoot, as well as makeup artists who needed a model to work on for skill enhancements. Slowly, through these connections, she was able to build the network that she currently has.

InLife International recently caught up with Abi to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you develop an interest in modelling, and what drove you to pursue that passion?

I feel like I speak for most women when I say that when we were teenagers, we all had a phase where we wanted to be a model. I, too, went through a phase in my life where I thought to myself, “I was want to be on the cover of magazines, I want to walk the runway, I want to be on billboards,” etc. Although I was only 15/16 years old at the time, I couldn’t shake the thought from my mind, and I decided that I was going to make it happen for me. It was certainly difficult starting out, as I had no connections and no one to contact for any assistance on how even to begin – I had no friends or family in the creative industry, so I completely started from scratch.

Participating in beauty pageants acted as the stepping stone I needed to get my foot in the door. After competing and winning both local and international pageants, modelling opportunities began to present to me, and I haven’t looked back since! I’m thankful I only live an hour away from Melbourne city, where all my modelling opportunities are. I enjoy traveling into the city from where I live, so a photoshoot will always be a fun day for me!

How do you balance maintaining a fit body while being busy with your regular work?

I work in hospitality, so I am always on my feet. Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy going on walks quite frequently. I always make sure I am out and about, rain, hail, or shine at least once a day! I love being outdoors as much as possible, regardless of the weather, so this definitely helps me stay in shape and stay active.


What’s your diet like at the moment? What do models eat?

If I’m being completely honest, my diet hasn’t been great these past few months.

On top of going in and out of lockdowns, being busy with work and my life in general, it can be hard to prioritize diets and health. It’s a struggle that I believe most of us have faced; no matter how invested you are in your health and fitness, it can be very easy for those goals to slip away once the stress and busyness of life come to occupy your life every day.

I will try and squeeze in a workout whenever I can, but I won’t let it get in the way of me getting proper rest when I need it. Let this be a lesson, not to push yourself too much! It’s okay to miss a workout here and again; ensuring that you are well-rested and happy is the most important thing.

Do you have a moment in your modelling career when you felt it was the pinnacle for you?

Around 2019 and early 2020, I would call the “pinnacle” for my modelling. I was frequently photo-shooting, at least three times a week, to a point where I felt I could cut back some shifts from my day job. It felt great to finally be at a point where I wasn’t just attending photoshoots every couple of weeks, as it had been since my modelling career started.

I had also modelled for milliner designers, swimwear/lingerie clothing brands. I walked in different fashion shows around Melbourne, so I felt delighted to have accomplished all that entirely on my own.

Do you have any “secrets” to modelling that you would like to share with everyone?

I don’t think I have any “secrets” when it comes to modelling, but more so advice. And that would be to just keep trying! It can be a tough industry to break into, and it can be discouraging when you have so much competition – it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

But if it’s truly your dream and your passion, then just keep on going and give it your 100% focus, as this opportunity will only come around once in your life.


What’s your view on pageants right now? What do you feel has changed since the days when you were competing?

I have always loved competing in beauty pageants. It’s what started my career, after all! I first started competing five years ago, back in 2016. Although it doesn’t seem like a long length of time, I have definitely seen many changes take place in both local pageants and big international pageants. The main thing I’ve noticed is that currently, pageants are more focused on a woman’s mission and what they can do for their community or what they can do to help those who are struggling. Nowadays, pageants are not just solely focused on a woman’s outer appearance, but more on what they can do with their title should they win and how they can influence and inspire those around them. I believe this is a significant step forward in feminism, and I know we’ll only continue to go up from here.

Are there any people you would like to thank for helping you get to where you are today? Is there anyone in particular who inspired you?

If I had to thank anyone, it would be my parents. Like me, they knew of no one who had done modelling or beauty pageants, so for me to want to get into this industry was certainly daunting for them, as they had no idea what it was about or how it works. Despite this, they continued to support me, whether it was picking me up late from rehearsals for a fashion show/pageant, driving me into photoshoots, or coming to watch and support me at each competition.

I have numerous women in my mind who I could say inspired me to start modelling, but if I had to pick one, it would definitely be Pia Wurtzbach. I’ve always taken in her story as inspiration, to never give up on your dreams and to keep trying until you accomplish what you want in life. She had numerous setbacks and was rejected in the industry many times before she made it to the top, and that always serves as a reminder to me to just keep going.


What are some of the difficulties of being in the industry?

Some difficulties of the industry would definitely be rejection. It’s hard not to take it personally, but it happens to everyone. Especially when you are just starting, it can be hard not to get discouraged, but it pays to stay the course! As they say, “we are never rejected in life; we are redirected.” So keep your head up – you never know what’s coming.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

I could think of countless people I would want to play with if they made a movie about my life. But if I could pick one, it would be Shay Mitchell; she has been my favourite actress for a long time!


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