There is a difference between a model and a role model. And we need more role models. This is Mia Kang for Uproxx. I am a model and a Muay Thai fighter. Some of the biggest things that I learned from Muay Thai was a distinction between ego and self-confidence. So, I have a job that’s extremely egocentric, extremely narcissistic. I get my photograph taken for a living. When you do martial arts, you have to leave your ego at the door. When you step in the ring in front of an opponent, you have to be 100% self-confident in your abilities and in yourself. If you’re 99%, you’re gonna lose that fight. In early 2016 I was living in New York, I was a very successful model, I was in Sports Illustrated, I was in Guess campaigns. From the outside it seemed like I kinda had it all. I know what it feels like to be that 14-year-old girl that’s looking through magazines wondering – why don’t I look like that? Oh my gosh, my thighs should be skinnier and my collarbone should, you know. And I was the girl in the magazine! It was always – my arms are too big, my eyes are too small when I smile. There was always something. So, imagine what the rest of the women out there feel. It blows my mind. It’s unbearable. I was being asked to go on like 10-day liquid-only diets before shoots. I reached a very low point and then I asked for a vacation. A 10-day vacation turned into nine months of me moving into a Thai Camp, falling in love with Muay Thai, devoting my whole every waking breath to it, and becoming a fighter. My whole body just changed and I watched it change and I loved it because I was seeing strength in myself that I never ever thought I could possibly have. Even doing a push-up. I’ve never done a push-up in my whole life. Or, I had a six-pack at one point. Never in my life would I ever think that I’d have a six-pack. I felt like a lethal weapon, you know? And I was loving these changes that were happening and I was embracing it. I remember the day when I looked in the mirror and I was happy with what I saw because I felt secure with myself and confident for the first time in my life. All I can do is try to be the role model that I wish that I had.