Exclusive Feature: Cathy Sharon

Indonesian celebrity Cathy Sharon is a spunky little firecracker, who exudes a fresh brand of sexy. Turning heads in Indonesia with MTV and as a TV presenter for a variety show, Cathy Sharon is a consummate entertainer.

cathy-sharon for DA MAN full fashion feature spread 1

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With her easy-going attitude and fresh brand of sexiness, the self-confessed “purist Libra” Cathy Sharon is more than sweet eye candy. This presenter, actress, model and humanitarian ambassador is also the DA MAN Darling.

If you are an avid TV viewer in Indonesia, then you have probably seen the beautiful and bubbly Cathy Sharon hosting the music variety show, Playlist, on SCTV.

Sometimes quirky, but most definitely adorable and sexy, the twentysomething presenter has garnered a following who faithfully tune in to watch her on a regular basis.

“Being an entertainer is something that came naturally for me,” Cathy smiles. Her passion for fashion, music and traveling has been a perfect fit for her job in the entertainment industry. Though this TV darling started her career as a model in 2002, things took a different turn in her showbiz career early on. Six months after joining the Look Models Agency, she was snapped up by MTV to be one of their Indonesian VJs. “I was really a full-time model for a year,” recalls Cathy. “After joining MTV, I stayed with the modeling agency for only half a year to finish my contract. It was sort of culture shock when I first started at MTV, as I had to learn everything on the spot about being a presenter … it was really learning by doing.”

Soon enough, she had to make some serious career decisions. “At that time, a decision had to be made whether I should continue my studies while working as a VJ. I decided to go into my job full-time since it was not possible to do them both. I don’t regret making that decision, because MTV was like my ‘university of life’; it taught me about self-presentation, networking and even developed my style of speech as a VJ,” remembers Cathy. “The assignments took me places I’ve never been, and I got to meet so many interesting and inspiring people from the music industry … interviewing international music stars, going to the MTV Music Awards and hosting the Asian VJ Hunts were some of the memorable working experiences as a VJ.”

Catherine Sharon Gasnier was born in Jakarta on October 8, 1982. She is the oldest of three daughters, of her French father, hotelier Thierry Marcel Gasnier, and her Chinese-Indonesian mother, Hilda Limbara. “When I joined the modeling agency, they already had a model named Catherine. So as not to create confusion, I was nicknamed Cathy. And it turned out to be a great stage name for me,” she recalled with a smile. The name “Cathy Sharon,” is also the title of a song, written about her by Kevin Aprilio, a young and talented musician from the local band, Vierra.

And for the general public, Cathy had become one of the most famous faces of MTV; since leaving in 2007, after five years working there, people still recognize her and call her “VJ Cathy.” Even though she was not working as a full-time model when she was with MTV, modeling jobs did come here and there, including TV commercials, music videos and product endorsements, all of which served to keep her a recognized name in the fashion and beauty industry.

Since 2005, Cathy has also expanded her showbiz career on the silver screen, with starring roles in the films Dunia Mereka (Their World) in 2005, Bangku Kosong (Empty Chair) in 2006, Sang Dewi (the Goddess) in 2007, and Barbie 3+1 in 2008. Her acting skills were also on display in various TV soap operas and ‘tele-films.’ One of her high-profile TV gigs was starring in the wildly popular, weekly comedy-variety show, Extravaganza (2007-2009), before finally settling into her current gig as the host of Playlist. Today, Cathy Sharon is more a celeb TV personality than a model.

A true humanitarian

Asked what she likes about herself, Cathy confides that she has the ability “to stay down-to-earth, not get big-headed from the success of showbiz. I think my family and close friends helped me to do that,” she adds. “My dad always reminded me to stay grounded. My mom, who is very religious, will always tell me to never forget about God, and to pray.”

Cathy has been involved in the IBU Foundation, a nonprofit organization with international credentials, which responds to emergency situations and inequity in community health care services for vulnerable people, especially mothers and children. The IBU Foundation was established in 2005 by a group of multidisciplinary professionals (medical doctors, psychologists and engineers) after the Great Asian Tsunami that devastated several regions along the Indian Ocean, particularly the Indonesian province of Aceh. The foundation has a long-term commitment to helping survivors. They have also been actively involved in relief efforts elsewhere and remain dedicated to improving social conditions, particularly in Indonesia.

“I was introduced to the founder, Dr. Ridwan Gustiana, by a mutual friend and was moved to join the organization as a volunteer. Seeing that I’ve been active as a volunteer, they made me an ambassador for the foundation,” Cathy explains. “It is a such a great honor for me. As an ambassador, I work to raise awareness for the foundation, raise donations and also recruit volunteers. There are so many young people out there who want to help and do something worthwhile, yet don’t know where to channel their energy.”

 

She also makes clear how heart-rending some of the work has been. “The earthquake disaster that shook Padang this year affected me on a very personal level. Earlier this year, I visited Padang for the first time, with my sister and friends to catch up with a close friend who comes from there. To see what the earthquake did to the city in September made me cry,” she reveals, “that pushed me to do more for the IBU Foundation. I hope to do my part in getting donations and raising awareness about the situation.”

Cathy admits that career and social activities have kept her too busy to pursue a full-on relationship with a committed partner. “I enjoy the time that I get to spend with my family and friends, but I don’t seem to have a personal love life,” she chuckles, while claiming to have been single for “a long while.” Though she has been romantically linked to a number of male celebrities, particularly those in the music business, Cathy has dismissed such talk as simply tabloid gossip.

So what kind of a man will get Cathy Sharon’s attention? “Oh you know, a man with a sense of responsibility and a sense of humor,” Cathy replies candidly, “I’m a purist Libra, I want a man that can look good in just a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers … and yet know how to carry a full-on suit. I’m not so much into the physical aspects, but the eyes and smile are what I usually find sexy in a man.”

And what about the qualities that she thinks are sexy in herself? “Hmmm … I think I have to work more on the attitude because the body ain’t there yet,” she says with a sheepish chuckle. “People tend to think I’m much younger than my age … they think I’m still in high school!”

For now though, it seems that career commitments are demanding much more of her time, and we cannot help but be excited to get more doses of the vivacious Cathy Sharon.


Clothing and Accessories:

Louis Vuitton

Versace

Jill Stuart

Hermès

Vabene

Zorab

 

 

Photographs:

Martin Westlake

 

 

For the full feature, pick up the DA MAN December 2009/January 2010 back issue here.