Cindy Sirinya Bishop, born Cynthia Carmen Burbridge in 1978 to an American father and mother of English, Thai and Indian descent, is a Thai model, actress, television host, crusader for women's rights and gender equality, author of children's books and a role model.
Cindy Sirinya Bishop (Cynthia Carmen Burbridge or Thai name Sirinya Winsiri) was born in Thailand in December 1978 to an American father and a mother of English, Thai and Indian descent. She is a Thai model, actress, television host and emcee. Since 2018 she has also been a crusader for women’s rights and gender equality. Cindy is the author of several children’s books and is a respected celebrity role model in Thailand.
In 1970, Cindy’s father founded a dive center called Seafari in Pattaya which remains in operation today. Naturally, Cindy was introduced to the underwater world at a very young age and by the age of 13 she landed her first modelling assignment shooting a commercial for a dive shop. Cindy attended Ruamrudee International School in Bangkok and graduated with a degree in Public Relations from Bangkok University.
Continuing to model during her school years, Cindy was crowned Miss Thailand World at the age of 17 and went on to represent Thailand at the Miss World beauty pageant in Bangalore, India. Back in Thailand though, the combination of her looks and name had stirred up some controversy about her title. The resulting press coverage made her a household name and generated new opportunities, launching her career as both an actress and television host.
Cindy was cast in The King Maker for which she was nominated for best supporting actress at the Suphannahong National Film Awards. She also starred in numerous television dramas including Thai adaptations of Gossip Girl (2015) and The O.C. (2016).
In 2016, Cindy was invited to host and be a judge on Asia’s Next Top Model, a position that she held until 2018. During this period, she also had appearances on The Face Thailand, Miss Tiffany's Universe: The Reality, Drag Race Thailand and two episodes of Britain's Next Top Model (Cycle 12).
Sparking Change Social Movement
“We can all be agents of change”
In 2018, as Songkhran (Thailand’s New Year festival) loomed, the local authorities issued a warning stating that women should not dress sexily if they wanted to avoid sexual harressment over the new year. Incensed that the blame and responsibility for sexual harresment should be levelled at women, this was the catalyst that inspired Cindy to launch her #DontTellMeHowtoDress campaign.
The original video message that Cindy posted on social media: “Women have the right to dress however we choose, as long as it’s not illegal. Sexual assault and harassment is never the woman’s fault! Tell men to keep their hands to themselves!”
Fuelled by social media, her #DontTellMeHowtoDress campaign gained widespread notoriety in Thailand and abroad. She joined forces with Thai Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation and UN Women and together they staged an exhibition featuring outfits worn by victims of sexual harrassment. The objective of the exhibition was to raise awareness of sexual harassment and victim-blaming in Thailand.
The Prime Minister of Thailand presented Cindy with the “Activist of the Year” award in 2018 and she also became a UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador.
Since then, Cindy has become Knowledge Director for Dragonfly360 alongside Pranapda Chirathivat and has also authored a series of children's books with morals to each story relating to safety, rights and respectful relationships. Cindy fervently believes that education is the key to pushing back against any form of discrimination:
“How we raise our children determines whether they become respectful citizens who treat others with dignity and respect their human rights. It’s about how we are teaching the next generation”. Cindy Bishop.
Cindy Bishop lives in Bangkok and in 2005, after they had been dating for 7 years, married male model Byron Bishop. The couple have had two children.
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