“…I was 16 with ridiculously long hair to my hips and I wanted to shave it all off for charity. My Mum freaked out and put me in a beauty pageant – first time ever wearing a dress and high heels…” And that is how Michelle Murenec, aka Rebel Bliss, aka StarCentral’s Bachelorette of the Year for 2013, got started in the modeling world. “…Ever since then, I’ve loved fashion and modelling for local designers both in my Australian home town of Brisbane and my Mum’s country of the Philippines. I’ve kept applying to jobs and getting them!”
Nowadays, Rebel is unashamedly passionate about fashion and admits that being able to experiment with all different styles in her career is a major source of pleasure. “…I especially like one off eclectic pieces that are not exactly couture, but you wouldn’t necessarily wear them on the street either… Unless you live in New York…”
Even though she was named Miss Philippines-Australia in 2001, don’t assume that Rebel is just a model. Yes, her career in front of the camera has included multiple runway shows, TV commercials, events promotions and print ads for big brands such as Coke, The Body Shop and Kahlua, even the front cover and a feature in MAXIM Magazine Philippines. But Rebel is also an actress (she has appeared in numerous TV shows, TV commercials, music videos and theatre shows both in Australia and in the Philippines) and as a singer/dancer was part of the (now defunct) girl group, Koolchx who performed all over the Philippines and was a regular guest star on the popular Filipino TV show, A.S.A.P. (All Stars Access Party). She is currently a member of ‘Aphrodite’, an all-female vocal group based in Brisbane.
While the half Filipino/half Italian beauty has met a multitude of individuals during her career, it is the photographers that stand out for her. “…I thought they would have some sort of similarity. Well, they do, having the passion for photography, but I mean each photographer I’ve worked with is so different. For example, one wanted to play with the light and how it hits the model, so light was his major player in the shoot. Another was all about face and wasn’t interested in body at all…”
Rebel’s tenacity as a performer is not only reflected in the amount and variety of her body of work but also in her name. Her stage name, ‘Rebel Bliss’ came about during “…a dance class in high school. We were learning a dance to Janet Jackson’s “If”, there was one move that had two options to it: I chose the harder of the two. I was the only one to choose the harder of the two. The choreographer called me a Rebel for doing so. My friends made a little dance group together and we called ourselves Bliss. Therefore Rebel Bliss…”
Perhaps the most important and influential force in Rebel’s career is her mother. After all, she was the one who entered her in that first beauty pageant! But ever since then, her mother (being a traditional Filipina, never remarried when her husband died when Rebel was only a young child) has continued to be her daughter’s touchstone and voice of reason. “…I won’t do anything that I think my Mum won’t be proud of me doing…my Mum is not afraid to put me in my place when I’ve over stepped the line… I’m so glad to be able to share my experiences with her…”
With a full-time job, Rebel (a graduate from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor degree in Business Management/Accounting) doesn’t get to spend as much time as she would like to fuel her passion for the performing arts. But plans are in the works to change all of that. So, it’s definitely a good idea to be on the lookout for this multi-talented Bachelorette, Rebel Bliss!
‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?
What is the most dramatic thing you’ve ever done to change your looks?
Dyed my hair blonde
What is in your makeup bag when you travel?
Loose powder, compact, eye liner, lipstick, lipgloss, make-up wipes, moisturiser and pawpaw cream.
What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?
My massive mole on the left side of my face. I actually love it, but I have been told to remove it. What’s going to look better though: a scar, or a mole?!?
Your best guilty pleasure…
Bread!!! I love bread!!! Especially if it is garlic bread after you’ve just eaten Fettucini Carbonara. Heaven!
Photos by: Forever Seen Photography
StarNow profile: http://www.starnow.com/rebelbliss
YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/michellemurenec
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rebelbliss