MANILA – Mariel de Leon is one step closer to fulfilling her dream of modeling in the United States.
The Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 titleholder announced on Thursday that she has signed up with True Model Management, an agency based in New York City.
In an Instagram post, De Leon admitted that she initially had doubts about being “model-worthy, beauty queen-worthy, or even just beautiful.”
She said she thought she needed to “drastically change” so she can fit in and succeed in the modeling industry.
“Thank God times have changed and the industry is now more diverse and accepting of different types of women and men! No matter the size, color, race, or background, you are beautiful and you are worthy!” she said.
“Through the years, I have learned to love myself even through rough times, and even if nobody else did. Now, I am the strong and confident woman I’ve always wanted to be,” she added.
De Leon went on to thank True Model Management for believing in her.
“I won’t let you down,” she said. “See you soon, New York!”
True Model Management has officially welcomed De Leon to the roster via an Instagram post, with the former beauty queen referred to as Maria instead of Mariel.
De Leon is the daughter of screen veterans Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong. After competing in Miss International in 2017, she tried her hand at acting as she co-starred with Coco Martin in the film “Ang Panday.”
A year later, she made her debut cover appearance on FHM Philippines.
While she is now under True Model Management, De Leon said she is still signed under LVD Management for her projects in the Philippines.