Riya Gauns is a 19-year-old upcoming freelance model from Assagao. She is currently pursuing her B.Com degree at DMC College in Assagao. She was the winner of Miss Goa Quintessential 2021 conducted by G-Town Society Magazine and was a finalist in the ninth season of India’s Miss TGPC beauty pageant conducted by ‘The Great Pageant Community (TGPC) in 2020. She also won the award for “Best Ramp Walk” at the third edition of the Fashion Model Goa beauty pageant held in 2019. Apart from modelling, she is also into dancing, singing, and acting.
In a brief chat with ItsGoa, Riya gave us an insight into her life, the struggles that she faced as an aspiring model, her future aspirations, and much more.
Its Goa: To start off Riya, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Riya Gauns: “I’m a girl that doesn’t happen twice.” Everyone knows me because of these beautiful curls which I have. As a child, I used to hate my hair. Every morning, while going to school, I used to straighten it up. It took me time to realise that my curly hair is something that makes me look more unique.
ItsGoa: Which part of Goa are you rooted in?
Riya Gauns: I was born and brought up in Assagao.
Its Goa: What was that moment that changed everything?
Riya Gauns: I remember during a career guidance program held at my school, all students were asked one question. “What do you want to become when you grow up?” Most of the students gave typical answers like a doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc.
When I said I want to become a ‘model’, everyone gave me a good laugh including my own friends, saying ‘that’s not a career and you want to be a model?’ But I remember my father sitting next to me saying “you can do it!” From that day onwards, I realized that I have to do it for myself and for the people who believed in me.
Its Goa: Riya, could you tell us a bit about your role model?
Riya Gauns: My role model is my mom. She is the one person who has always supported me, no matter what. She believed in me when everyone else didn’t. She does a lot of hard work, not for herself but for me, so that I can be someone in life.
Its Goa: One piece of advice you would like to give to yourself is…
Riya Gauns: “Life is not easy. You have to start chasing every single opportunity that comes your way and should also bravely deal with any problems that come during the course of your journey. You should not give up at any cost. If you give up, somebody else will grab that opportunity that is meant for you.”
Its Goa: Anyone who you would want to meet someday?
Riya Gauns: I would love to meet Dipakk Shahi (@dipakkshahi), an amazing person with all the knowledge related to beauty pageants and a person behind many successful pageant models. Can’t wait to meet you sir, and take all the baskets of knowledge that you have!
Its Goa: Any challenges that you faced when you started your career as a model?
Riya Gauns: When I was just entered the fashion industry, I did not have anyone to guide me regarding things like how to do it, how to dress up, how to walk, how to go further, how to communicate, etc.
So, for me, it was difficult to find the right people to assist me in going further in my career. I am glad that now, after nearly 3 years in the industry, I have managed to foster good connections with some amazing people who always have my back.
Its Goa: One thing that you would advise all your followers.
Riya Gauns: No one believed in me just because I was 5’3″. So if you want to do something in your life, believe in yourself and leave back all the insecurities which you have within yourself.
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