This woman to watch is not just a rising personality in the modeling industry, but also a pre-med student aiming to save lives—and she goes by the name of Casey Merritt
She stands in front of the camera and graces the pages of digital and print magazines with her captivating beauty. But don’t be fooled by the sparkle of the studio lights because Casey Merritt is a true professional living life with simplicity and grace—choosing to focus on what truly matters.
A quarter of the way into her chat with MEGA, it already felt like a casual conversation between two friends catching up. Casey candidly discusses her upbringing away from the spotlight, her many interests as a second year college student taking up physical therapy, and why she appreciates anatomy so much.
From saving lives
Growing up, Casey Merritt already knew what she wanted to do for a living. “I think that ever since I was young, I always like to go to the doctor and like doing what they do.” Casey shared that, as a child, she admired the noble job that healthcare workers do. “With physical therapy, we see patients for hours. So, it is enjoyable to see one who couldn’t get out of bed to start walking, moving, and going back to their daily lives.” This was Casey’s motivation to mold her dream to become a doctor. Since then, she had decided on the career she’d like to pursue.
“I want to be able to leave the earth knowing that people [have] made good use of what I can offer in this world. That will be enough for me.”
As she is determined to carve out her own path, Casey is well aware that success is earned through a never-ending drive to be better because, in reality, “[the] road towards becoming a medical professional requires a ton of hard work.” Her parents serve as good role models as she saw opportunities to learn and to make good use of her time through them.
To serving looks
Being an aspiring doctor and a model may seem unrelated at first glance, but both careers require dedication, empathy, and a commitment to excellence—qualities that are all woven into Casey Merritt’s true purpose in the modeling industry.
As the younger sister of international model Kelsey Merritt, Casey recounted how people have always asked her if she would also want to do modeling. “Back then, I always said I wouldn’t like to try it.” Just like any creative, Casey is also human, and part of it is a struggle to find her identity in the same field as her sister. However, after unexpectedly becoming a model for a close friend’s photoshoot, she realized that she couldn’t hide from this calling much longer. “I didn’t expect how much I would enjoy it, it was something really energetic, and it makes me really excited to work and express myself. It’s a fun, creative outlet for me.” It seemed that there was no point in pushing it away—not because it was what people expected her to do, but because she knew deep down it was what she wanted, too.
“I find that fun shoots are my favorite because I get to express myself even more, and I am not limited to what the job title says. It just makes me appreciate the industry more, and I get so excited sometimes that I can’t sleep before our shoots.”
Her inner circle
Further into the conversation, we can see Casey Merritt up close, understanding the low-key creature in her natural habitat. In fact, during the online interview, she was wearing her laboratory uniform as she came from school minutes before the interview began. While Casey is one of the most photographed individuals on the local scene these days, she admits—in all her confidence—that she gets shy when people compliment her. “I value privacy a lot. I like that I get to keep my life to myself. I just want to enjoy life without everyone else knowing about it,” she shared.
Knowing the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to choosing friends, making conscious choices in building friendships has helped her to create a supportive network of individuals that she could always rely on and trust.
A woman’s own cheerleader
Casey’s journey has been filled with invaluable lessons that have shaped her into the confident, self-assured woman she is today. “I believe that whatever you are doing, if it [is] healthy, empowering, and is not at all hurtful, I think you should stick to them and pursue them,” sharing her wisdom while standing strong amongst ages, stereotypes, and standards that always have limited women to their capabilities.
Here, she speaks to her fellow women, saying, “You are an amazing person, through and through, regardless of how you present yourself [and] on how you look. We have our hearts, we have our minds, and we have a voice. And that’s all that matters because it is what changes the world.”
Photography DOOKIE DUCAY
Creative Direction NICOLE ALMERO
Art Direction NICOLE ALMERO, assisted by BRIE VENTURA
Fashion Direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Styling JOAQUIN RODRIGO, assisted by NAVEENA ABDURAJAK
Beauty Direction MARA GO
Makeup BRYAN CUIZON
Hair PATTY CRISTOBAL
Sittings Editor PEACHES GARCIA
Producers MEGA DIGITAL (CARYLL CABUHAT, JEMIMA CRUZ, CHLARINE GIANAN, MARA GO, and MIKA REYES)
Video Production REGINA ACERON
Videography JR RAMIREZ
Production Design JOSIAH HIPONIA, assisted by JOB CONSTANTINO
Shoot Coordination KZ FRANCISCO
All pieces by CHRIS NICK