Charm, confidence and charisma exude from Jacqueline de la Cruz. Recently crowned Miss Hillbrow, she’s an achiever and it shows! She has natural beauty and sparkling eyes – this girl has guts, determination and a vibrant zest for life. Is this what it takes to make a winner?
“You have to fight hard to get to the top,” reveals Jacqui, “and don’t give up. Believe in yourself, be thick-skinned and you’ll make it.”
People should reach high for their dreams, feels Jacqui, whilst at the same time being realistic and realizing your limitations. Jacqui adds that “it’s probably my down to earth character that has helped me survive in the competitive world of modelling.”
Having known-how as well as knowing yourself are both important attributes as far as Jacqui is concerned. “I would never go on stage in a beauty competition if I didn’t feel confident. I need to know my body is in good shape and that I’ll be able to answer the questions as cleverly as possible,” she says.
Jacqui has so much advice on how to make it. She makes it all sound so easy, but the key to her advice is perseverance, working hardand having will power and maybe that’s where most of us slip up. For Jacqui, it’s not worth doing anything halfway. “If you want to win, you’ve got to go ALL THE WAY,” she stresses.
Jacqui has possibly been luckier than most because she grew up in an influential family. Her father is leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives. Mixing with important people is nothing new to her, so she copes well at formal functions. She is the first to admit that the familiar cliche: ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’ definitely applies in making the road to success quicker. “Contacts are always a help, but your own personality is the final determinant in whether you’re going to achieve what you want or not.”
Apart form Jacqui inheriting the beautiful looks of her mother and the sex appeal of her father, she has also learnt a lot from her parents. “I’ve watched my father achieve so much. He has confidence, courage, intelligence and GO!” says the proud daughter, “From him I’ve learnt to be open and straight forward, rather than shy.” Another important lesson for her dad is to make your own decisions, and achieve things for yourself. Jacqui says, “I don’t like to ask people for favors or to rely on other people to help me succeed. If you achieve success – them the feeling of satisfaction is greater knowing that you did it yourself!”
However, when it comes to modelling, you do need an agency to assist you. “An agency is vital to a model to look after your finances, organize modelling assignments, promote and push you. Since I’ve joined the Network Modelling Agency, I’ve been on the move constantly. They push me all the time which I love.” Jacqui suggest that girls who want to become models should go around to agencies to see which agency they like and which agency likes them. “Once you’ve chosen and agency (if they like you too), think it over seriously.
You must be dead sure that you have the right mind and attitude towards being a model. Don’t ever do something you can’t handle,” warns Jacqui. You should feel confident that you can impress people and radiate beauty as well as intelligence. A model is required to be within certain weight and height limits. An asset is to do a modelling course first as well.
Another important aspect of modelling is the salary. Jacqui advises that “when you first start modelling, you may need to get a part-time job to help you get by financially, but make sure that modelling remains your number one priority if you want to make it to the top!” And to make it to the top you must ALWAYS look like a winner. “Dress formally if the occasion calls for this – and that doesn’t mean buying new clothes all the time. I personally never throw away old clothes because sooner or later they come in handy again.”
As Miss Hillbrow, Jacqui de la Cruz is one of our top models. She loves it. She hates being lazy and with her career booming she’s constantly on the go. Jacqui’s learned that to stay on top you need to constantly keep your image intact. One of her prizes is a Cit-Golf which has her title printed on it. This means that when she steps out of the car, people turn to stare. She therefor needs to always look well-groomed. Another responsibility is to try and accept all invitations to functions so as not to offend anybody. It’s all a lot of hard work, but “very rewarding”.
Jacqui doesn’t believe that school education is as important as education yourself in the field that you want to win in. “I’ll always listen to advice people give me, if I think that it applies to me. You must keep you mind open and absorb as much information as you can in the field that you are interested in.” Watching winners and learning from them is also important to Jacqui.
On the personal side, being an achiever makes you more appealing to other people. Since becoming Miss Hillbrow, Jacqui finds that when people recognize her, they tend to treat her better. Some shop and restaurant owners even give her their merchandise for free. As far as the opposite sex is concerned, Jacqui has men propositioning her all the time now. She doesn’t accept dates though because she has a wonderful boyfriend already. Jacqui keeps a level head amidst the continuous flattery and feels that no girl should ever let herself fall for “cheap talk”.
To date Jacqui has been involved in advertisements and photographic modelling, but now “new doors have opened for me to hit the ramp and see more designers” (who in turn will see her). She’s so excited about the prospect of modelling in shows. Her future looks so exciting and enviable with opportunities arriving all the time. Later this year, Jacqui will be holidaying overseas with her boyfriend (compliments of Luxavia – one of the many prizes Jacqui won in the Miss Hillbrow competition). In the distant future, Jacqui sees herself remaining in the modelling and fashion world, and most importantly striving to stay on top.
Jacqui’s final advice to all the potential winners is: “It’s a big world out there, so be careful but GO FOR IT!”
NEW DAWN, May/June 1987