updated 24 Dec 2010, 13:59
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Fri, May 07, 2010
Urban, The Straits Times
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Junita Simon (Celebrity mums part 1)
by Ian Lee

Even celebrity mums don’t have it easy with their kids, as Urban’s photoshoot with veteran model and polished emcee Junita Simon, 32, demonstrates.

“He’s a little grouchy today because he went to bed way too late last night,” she says of her shoot companion, four-year-old son Rayaan Dass.

Little Dass may have gone to bed late, but he is not drowsy – far from it. He is so excited to be at a photoshoot with mummy that he has left his books and toy car behind.

As mum gets dolled up, he runs amok with the hairstylist’s spray bottle and the make-up artist’s brushes.

Fortunately, he stops when he is offered a cookie. Well, for a while, anyway.

“It’s hard to do a photoshoot with kids around. He’s actually quite well-behaved today. I usually have to leave him at home while I’m at photoshoots,” she tells Urban.

Simon, best-known for winning the Ford Supermodel of the World Singapore contest in 1995, and who has done emcee stints for the likes of French luxury labels Chanel and Louis Vuitton, says that she has never been worried about maintaining her looks since becoming a mother.

Mind you, having a husband, Amal Dass, 39 – whom she married in 2003 – who owns a beauty clinic, Advanced Aesthetics and Surgery, at Orchard Building, is a plus.

She says: “I’ve always kept things simple. I visit my hubby’s clinic once a month for IPL (Intense pulsed light, a method of hair removal), drink lots of water and have at least seven hours of sleep a day.

“That’s pretty much all I’ve ever done to maintain myself, with or without a child.”

That age-defying beauty has also meant she has not needed to worry about maintaining her career either.

She is in demand amid the demands of motherhood, but can juggle both due to the flexibility of modelling and emcee work.

However, during peak periods, she could be doing as many as two to three shows a week, she says.

“I’m fortunate to be able to choose to take on as much or as little as I want,” she says.

“Before being a mum, I could accept jobs without blinking an eye. Now, if I want to take a job, I have to make sure my son is taken care of while I’m at work. It’s just a bit more to sort out and prioritise.”

While she admits being a mum “can work both ways”, depending on whether the client wants a mature woman or a young one, she says: “I am confident of the way I look even after having a child, so there’s no reason a client should not approach me for the usual work.”

Since becoming a mum, Simon has appeared on the cover of Singapore’s Mother And Baby magazine and in a print advertisement for department store Robinsons last year where she was snapped together with her son.

“If I weren’t a mum, they wouldn’t have called me for these opportunities and I wouldn’t be featured in this story either,” she says pragmatically.

One thing she admits is that motherhood has changed her personal priorities.

“It’s no longer about me, but my son,” she says.

“Even going out for a simple dinner or movie with my husband needs to be planned, as my mum has to babysit for us.”

That is not going to stop her from having another child though.

“I do want another child so that Rayaan doesn’t have to grow up a lonely kid, but not right now. It’ll be in a year or two, perhaps.”

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This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.

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