Chantelle Chuah was born Jessie Chuah Shee Peng in Ipoh. She left for the United Kingdom at 19 to pursue a degree in business and accounting at Manchester University. She is not a shy girl; not by any means.She has posed fetchingly in a bikini for her blog; likes sexy dresses and matching killer heels when she hits the town; says her dream partner is Obama and that her hobby is skinny dipping.
Her striking height caught the attention of a talent scout in Manchester and she was chosen as the Asian model for Japanese fashion brand Onitsuka Tiger for their catalogue. But with her then less-than-perfect figure, which failed to scream “sexy”, things didn’t work out. “I never bloomed physically, only mentally. I even thought I was too tall and tried hunching!” she recalls.
At Manchester University, Chuah fell in love with an English bloke. She was his first Chinese girlfriend, and they were an item for two years. Then he wanted out. She was then a hefty 65kg and had a tummy, too, but that was no excuse for cruelty.
Devastated over the loss of her first love, she sank into depression. “I was naive and trusting and couldn’t handle the break-up. I had to go for therapy for nine months! Can you imagine that? It was so serious. My therapist saved my life. She said I should do something constructive to regain my self-esteem and faith in life. “Then she said something that was like a eureka moment. She said I should be a pretty girl! Since I had the height and my face didn’t need major plastic surgery, she suggested that I join a beauty pageant or model contest,” she remembers.
She joined in the Miss Malaysia Tourism 2007 pageant. After her win, Chuah represented Malaysia at the Model of the Year 2007 world finals in Seoul and made it to the Top 10. After her break-out year, Chuah continued to make a name for herself as Girl No.7 in the TV show, Deal or No Deal. After that stint, she worked as junior tax consultant at Pricewaterhouse and then as an auditor at Deloitte. Later, she joined the Miss Malaysia Universe and Miss Malaysia World contests but failed to win.