MOST girls in high school feel insecure. But one look at Dominique Maber and you'd never think she felt self-conscious.
Ms Maber, a 20-year-old beauty with Sri Lankan heritage, admits she has lightened the tone of her skin.
"When you are 13 or 14 and you are going through puberty and you feel insecure you believe that outside sources can help you become more confident," Ms Maber said.
The model and former Mackay resident said she first bought skin whitening cream in Sri Lanka when she was 14 years old.
"It is just like walking into a supermarket in Mackay and buying toothpaste with whitening. You walk into a shop in Sri Lanka and you buy moisturiser with whitening,
"It was just the unsaid thing that everyone did and the mentality of people wanting to be whiter.
"The whiter you are in Sri Lanka, the more you are treated like royalty."
Ms Maber, who is known for her striking dark features, said she would never go to "extremes" to make herself white.
"I don't use the cream anymore and when I was using it, it wasn't as if I wanted to be drastic, like Michael Jackson," she said.
"I would never have used harsh creams to become whiter."
Ms Maber said she attended school in Mackay and suffered as a result of some feelings of racism within the community.
"Yes, I did feel racism towards me and my friends in Mackay," she said. "It was nothing over the top; it was more the way some people looked at us."
The young woman, who has a creative streak, offered some words of wisdom for young girls feeling insecure about their looks.
"Just be happy in yourself," she said. "There are so many outside forces such as magazines, TV and movies, but if you are happy with who you are none of that will matter."
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