Miss January from Calendar Girls – Juri as Mulan an interview by Ruqya Khan

Juri Daendler as Mulan graces the cover for the month of January 2016 of Calendar Girls project!


Juri Daendler is a 28 year old brave heart from the Philippines. She is driven by the passion to showcase her community in a different light of respect and dignity. “We are so often perceived as nice and submissive. We get walked all over. I want to stand up for the people. I want the world to see us differently. Value us for our capabilities and for that I have to be a strong example!”


At a young age of 19 Juri began working. She started from the bottom and went up the ladder of success through hard work and dedication. From being receptionist to teacher’s assistant to office manager – it has been quite a rising graph. “Someday I might even go solo and have a (business) project of my own. I do not believe in hurdles or excuses. I feel disillusioned when people who are senior to me in age and experience aspire of less they should. They play small. Can someone be unfair to their goals and ambitions for the sake of comfort and familiarity? I should hope not but often we do.”


Coming from this values and strong ideals about herself and her own it was therefore no surprise that she selected to portray Mulan for the Calendar Girls project. “I loved the idea of being Mulan! She is such a brave and determined character. She is resourceful and fiercely protective of her family which I can completely relate to. She is the hero of her story. She dresses as her father to fight the battle. She cares for him. She values his age and does not want to see him hurt or injured. She therefore takes the lead to fight his battle. She is driven and unafraid of ‘breaking through the mould’ for what she believes in – something every female should always remember to do.”


Family is Juri’s driving force. She is the bread winner for them and works harder at every opportunity so that she can help them better in every way. “I want them to see me for what I do, how I achieve and grow. I want them to be strong headed and never settle for less.”


Being the first frame for the Calendar Girls project came as a surprise for Juri and she is highly honoured. Her association with the project was from the early beginnings and the idea to bring the true essence beauty to the fore got her interested. “The best part about the project is that it chooses to inspire. It breaks through the mould. It sends out a message to young girls who chase the illusion of beauty not realising that what lies within reflects outside. The fad of photo shopped faces, airbrushed bodies and perfect photo shoots is a mirage. It is time that we accepted the real.”

“I think true beauty is soul deep. Being beautiful goes beyond having a pretty face. It is when our ‘inner light’ radiates outwards through our actions or how we treat others. For me, beautiful is more than what is on the outside. I admire people who are courageous enough to care about other people more than themselves. I respect people who go out of their way to achieve their dreams so that others may follow their own hopes.”


“The one lesson I take from this project and the many beautiful souls with whom I have worked with for Calendar Girls is that one must always strive to be unique and challenge the status quo. I believe that everyone should embrace what makes them special and exceptional. Be proud of who you are and always confide into what others think of you. Dream big, achieve yet stay humble and true to yourself. A woman is beautiful when she is true.”

I admire women with substance – those who face adversity with determination, who are strong and compassionate. Those who move and inspire others make for a beautiful woman…

Calendar Girls 2016 :

The ethos behind the program is to develop campaigns through marketing and events that promote positive body image in Men and Women.

Calendar Girls had over 14 role models for young women to identify with and inspire from, the personal stories of these 14 women will be showcased in this unique calendar.

Theme for 2016 : Fairytales – each image for the photo shoot was inspired by the person’s own favourite character – the idea behind it is, the each one of us really are, “our own super heroes”.

We are grateful for all the  amazing support from many individuals!

The Fashion Designers of Calendar Girls 2016:-
Anisa Couture
Aisha Alia – Hayaatii
Dutchess Riley
Desi Sari Dewi
Kash Kouture
Reve Du Soleil

Calendar Girls Sponsors:-
Splendour Salon
Selfie TV
Shaby Designs
RK rites (Ruqya Khan)
MAD (Mad About Dance Institute)

To learn more about w2w: w2w.events.dubai@gmail.com