Michaela Elkins: Heroina novog doba

Košulja i pantalone Carolina Herrera
Cipele Jimmy Choo

Michaela Elkins, heroina je novog doba i uzor mnogim mladim ženama širom sveta. U razgovoru za Harpersbazaar.rs odala nam je tajne uspeha ali i šta za nju znači unutrašnje biće. Pored titule Miss Peru, Michaela je i članica MENSA-e ali i uspešna spisateljica i preduzetnica.

Vi ste pisac, poslovna žena, model, a dobitnik ste i međunarodne miss titule. Koja uloga vam je najdraža?

To je odlično pitanje, i moram reći da nemam favorita. Verujem da su sve uloge u mom žovotu međusobno povezane. Ne bih bila sjajna poslovna žena da nisam usavršila svoju sposobnost komunikacije zbog svoje posvećenosti ka pisanju, pisanju štiva koje osnažuje ličnost. Unutrašnji rad i samorefleksija kroz koju sam prošla u poslednjih pet godina je ono što sam detaljno opisala u svojim knjigama, a to isceljenje mog bića u razvoj moje ličnosti koji sam opisala u svojim knjigama apsolutno mi omogućavaju da se kao žena uspešno krećem poslovnim svetom.

Kao model ne bih bila toliko uspešna bez bogatog unutrašnjeg identiteta autorke, poslovne žene i miss titule koja mi daje dovoljno samopouzdanja i lakoće pred kamerom. Manekenstvo je takođe otvorilo moj svet u pogledu ljudi i ličnosti koje sam upoznala i sa kojima sam radila. Mesta na kojima sam snimala i posao koji je od mene bio zahtevan otvorili su mi horizonte što je svakako doprinelo mom poverenju u kosmopolitski, brzi svet poslovanja. Mnogi ljudi koji su posmatrači ne shvataju da iskustvo da postanete kraljica lepote počinje mnogo pre nego što uđete u preliminarni krug ili izrazite interesovanje za određeni sistem takmičenja. Da biste uopšte bili potencijalna kandidatkinja za početak biste morali da živite fokusiran, ciljno orijentisan i ambiciozan život. Dakle, moje ambicije da budem autor, da pohađam MBA i da imam postavljeni cilj da budem efikasna poslovna žena obogatile su moj profil i omogućile mi da budem adekvatan kandidat na takmičenju i na kraju i da ostvarim uspeh na međunarodnom i svetskom nivou. Moram da kažem da se sve ove titule stapaju jedna u drugu i da je svaka ponaosob formirala deo mog identiteta i dala mi poverenje u sebe i svoje sposobnosti. Nikada nisam mogla da izaberem favorita, i ako sam posebno pristrasna prema svom iskustvu modela jer sam se profesionalno počea baviti modelingom u kasnim tinejdžerskim godinama i to mi je donelo toliko mogućnosti i omogućilo mi da platim svoje obrazovanje. Modeling je zaista bio dar u mom životu.

Top, pantalone i blejzer Ganni
Ogrlica i narukvica David Yurman

Osvojili ste titulu Miss Peru za 2012 godinu. Kako se to desilo? Da li ste to očekivali?

Ušla sam u proces takmičenja nakon što sam istražila izbore koji dozvoljavaju prijavu kandidatima koji su stariji od 27 godina. Poznata je konvencija, kada su međunarodni izbori u pitanju, da je starosna granica obično 27 godina. Tokom istraživanja otkrila sam franšizu Miss Univerzuma, u okviru čijeg takmičenja mogu da se prijave i žene koje su starije od 27 godina. S'obzirom na činjenicu da su franšize za Miss Universe i Mrs. Universe u samom vrhu po svojim starosnim kategorijama i kriterijumima za odabir znala sam da je to pravi izbor. Kroz dve runde kvalifikacija i eliminacija osvojila sam titulu Miss Perua i dobila sam dozvolu da predstavljam naciju na izboru za Miss Univerzuma koji je organizovala međunarodna organizacija Miss Sveta. Apsolutno nisam očekivala. Verovala sam u sebe i znala sam da sam se dobro priremila, radila sam sa timom koji usavršava kandidate za Miss Indija I Miss Diva, za međunarodna takmičenja lepote. Tim je radio sa Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta i drugim velikanima izbora za Miss Indija. Ustajala sam u 3 ujutru dok sam radila vežbe za šetnju po pisti, radila na svom ličnom brendiranju kao kraljica lepote i slanju poruka, takođe učeći kozmetiku za scenu i prikladne frizure koje pristaju mom licu, planirajući svoje odevne kombinacije uz njihovo vođstvo. Zaista sam bila sigurna u sebe i spremna da nosim nacionalnu titulu na međunarodnom takmičenju, ali koliko god da ste spremni sve se svodi na to da li je to vaša sudbina i vaš trenutak.

Na međunarodnom takmičenju imala sam zaista sreće. Kao Miss Perua uspela sam da pobedim i budem krunisana kao Mrs. Universe, dobivši titulu od moje predhodnice, gospođe Leyla-e Murugova. Što je takođe bilo divno iznenađenje. Zamišljala sam pobedu na hiljade puta, što je takođe nešto na čemu sam radila sa jednim od mojih trenera - Natalie-om Glebova-om, Miss Universe 2005. Ona je razvila fantstičan plan i program o načinu pozitivnog razmišljanja koji priziva pobedu, i uz pomoć njenu pomoć sam uspela da radim na svojim mentalnim i emocionalnim blokadama oko pobede i oko pogleda u sebe i svoje parvo ja. Tako malo ljudi razume da vaše sopstvene predstave o dostojnosti i vaši sopstvene blokade zaista i blokiraju vaše blagoslove – čak i na sportskim takmičenjima i nastrupima.

Vi ste prva I do sada jedina pripadnica mense. Recite nam nešto o tome.

Pridružila sam se MENSA-i mnogo pre moje prijave na takmičenje za Miss Perua, i ponosna sam što mogu da kažem da me je to verovatno učinilo jačim kandidatom pred očima žirija. Svedoci smo zabluda o tome da misice nemaju da ponude ništa drugo osim spoljašnje lepote. Moguće da je u nekim zemljama i u nekim kulturama to tačno. Mnogi ljudi su navikli na nacionalne ili regionalne misice koje su veoma fokusirane samo na spoljašnju lepotu i ne kultivišu svoje unutrašnje svetove i ne koriste svoje intelektualne moći kako bi bile na istom nivou kao njihove estetske snage. Međitim, ono na šta su navikli u svojoj zemlji ili regionu nije ono što se smatra apsolutnom lepotom u drugim zemljama, čak i kada su nosioci titule u pitanju.

Kad pogledate zemlje kao što je Indija, koja je svetska sila kada je u pitanju broj titula Miss Universe i Miss World, vidimo da su pobednice veoma inteligentne pored toga što su staložene, prelepe, graciozne, dobrog držanja, pažljivo doterane i nakićene. Zato za mene nije bilo logičnijeg izbora kada se radi izboru trenera i akademije. Apsolutno sam znala da želim da radim sa timom koji je oblikovao nosioce titule Miss Indija na internacionalnim takmičenjima zbog pažnje koju poklanjaju kako bi bili sigurni da su njihovi kandidati elokventni i prikazuju svoju čistu inteligenciju, lepotu i stav Aishwarya Rai, je jedna od mojih ličnih idola, takođe Sushmita Sen mi pada na pamet kada su u pitanju tipovi lepotica koje su oličenje lepote i inteligencije.

Bila sam počestvovana da prezuntujem Peru i da postavim Peru na mapu noseći internacionalnu titulu u međunarodonom takmičenju izboru za Miss. Veoma sam ponosna na to da sam jedna od nekoliko, ako ne i jedina, Miss na nacionalnom i internacionalnom nivou koja je članica MENSA-e. To je dobro za Peru i moj lični profil kao nosioca internacionalne titule sa MENSA kredencijalima – kombinacija koja je jako retka i samim tim privlači pažnju. Pomogla mi je da osvetlim značajno bogatstvo morskog ekosistema koje Peru poseduje, koji mora biti zaštićen, održan i održavan u balansu i hramoniji za dobrobit celog Pacifika, samim tim i planete.

Vi ste prva žena koja je ponela nacionalnu titulu a da je starosedelac sa indijanskim poreklom na međunarodnom takmičenju. Reci nam nešto o tome.

Majka mi je evropskog porekla, a moj otac je starosedelac. Vlasnik Miss Global takmičenja je naišao na moj modeling profil slučajno putem interneta i kontaktirao me je sa pitanjem da li želi da se pridružim ediciji Miss Global za 2021. Posebna stvar kod ovog sistema takmičenja je ta da dozvoljava kandidatima ne samo da prerezentuju njihovu nacionalnosti ili zemlju za koju su vezani, već i da prikažu sopstveno nasleđe. Organizacija je pitala o mom čitavom poreklu i ohrabrlila me da se pridružim takmičenju kao Miss Indigenous America. Nisu imali nikoga sa jačim profilom i snažnijim konekcijama sa starosedelačkim poreklom.

Na putu sam poslednjih 3-4 godine  kako bi postala više konektovana sa duhovnošću, procesima lečenja, kuhinjom i tradicionalnim vrednostima moje Čiroki porodice i predaka – i za mene, to je bilo ostvarenje sna. Čast mi je bila da predstavim svetu da su američki starosedeoci i dalje tu i da smo velika grupa ljudi koja se prostire po čitavoj Americi, kad bolje razmislite. Od severne Kanade sve do južnih krajeva Južne Amerike i svuda između. Privilegija je da pomognem u promeni dijaloga vezanog za teme poput „mešane krvi“ kao starosedelac sa evropskom krvi. Volim da pričam o ovoj vrsti titule, jer uvek dolazi sa pitanjima. Iako je osvajanje ove titule i etabliranjem kao javna ličnost unutar naše zajednice i kroz moj modeling posao i uspeh postala sam poznata i tako su se referisali na mene u medijima kao jedna od „modela starosedelaca’’ zajedno sa Ashley Callingbull i Quannah Chasinghorse. Nestvarno je i to je apsolutno jedan od najvećih komplimenata koje sam dobila.

Top, pantalone i blejzer Ganni
Ogrlica i narukvica David Yurman

Pojavljivali ste se u mnogobrojim modnim magazinima i krasili međunarodne naslovne strane. Možete li nam reći neku interesantnu situaciju sa snimanja.

Imala sam tu sreću da imam dugu modeling karijeru i da budem uključena u snimanje mnogih nalsovnih strana i mnogo nagrađivanih kampanja. Najinteresantnije situacija koja se dogotila u mom radu vezana je za luksuzne brendove kupaćih kostima. Zvuči smešno, ali snimanje swimwear kampanja i to okruženje je zapravo mnogo ekstremnije. Za standarde slikanja kampanja i tokom tipičnih modnih revija, postavljeni su mnogi standardi. U kampanjama za kupaće kostime, imala sam neke zaista neobične setove u rasponu od slikovitog i mirnog pejzaža peruanskog nacionalnog rezervata Paracas u Ici, MAXIM Peru, do uzbudljivih i uzavrelih plaža pejzaža South Beacha u Majamiju. Jedna od mojih zanimljivijih situacija sa ovog konkretnog snimanja je da se ono odigralo u Majamiju u julu i tokom toplotnog talasa! Bilo je zaista jako vruće, a temperatura vazduha od 105 stepeni Farenhajta – a oseća je bio da je bilo mnogo toplije kada se sunce reflektovalo od svilenkastog belog peska. Morala sam da se rotiram između nekoliko fotografa kako bismo mogli da snimimo snimke u različitim stilovima jer bi konačne fotografije bile korišćene za kalendar luksuznih kupaćih kostima.

Ovo je bilo posebno izazovno snimanje jer je sve obavljeno tako brzo, svi su se mučili sa vrućinom. Uopšteno govoreći, rekala bih da iskustva u rijalitiju Next Top Model ni na koji način ne liče na ono što je modeling u stvari.

Zamislite ovo, modeli i ja smo brzo išli biciklom do različitih fotografa i smejali smo se jer smo bukvalno trčali po pesku u kupaćim kostimima kao da je to bila epizoda Baywatch-a. Kada smo završili snimanje, morali smo da trčimo i skočimo u džinovski crni SUV, još uvek u kupaćim kostimima i prekrivene peskom da bismo bile odvezene nazad u hotel. Trebalo je onda da se spremimo za oko 30 minuta da budemo spremne za intervjue. Bilo je gotovo komično koliko smo se brzo kretali, a i ako smo mislili da je naša kosa spremna za kameru i intervju, onda smo morali ponovo da razmislimo o strategiji jer je na tipičan Majami način kiša pljuštala 3 minuta i stvarala ogromnu vlažnost u vazduhu. Na kraju 27 minuta uz jednu elegantnu punđu kasnije, bila sam spreman za intervju. Bilo je to jedno od najnervoznijih i najekstremnijih (i zbog vremenskih prilika i zbog brzine snimanja) snimanja koje sam ikada uradila. Rezultati su, na sreću, bili zapanjujući i izgledali su kao neki od glamuroznih Old Hollywood fotografija u modernom stilu koje vidite u Vanity Fair-u.

Šta je vaša najveća prednost kao profesionalca?

Moja najveća prednost kao profesionalca je moja posvećeost tome da učim tokom čitavog života. Verujem da me moja želja da nikad ne prestanem sa učenjem čini prirodno radoznalom osobom, dobrim slušaocem i daje mi mogućnost da razmišljam kritički. Kao profesionalcu mi pomaće da brzo učim nove stvari i da se nikad ne umorim od informacija.

Takođe mislim da ovakav stav znači da ne ulazim u sve sa previše ega. Imam samopouzdanje. Ali to je potpuno različito od posedovanja nezdravog ega. Volim da prilazim svemu kao sudbinskog prilici za učenje. Ako nešto ne funkcioniše na snimanju ili projektu, ja težim ka tome da vidim priliku za učenje nečega ili od nekoga na setu. Gledam na to kao priliku da razmislim o svojim ubeđenjima, zaronim u sbe i pronađem nešto vredno.

Moja najveća snaga je i želja da zadržim svežim i interesantnim sebe, moj proces mišljenja i pristupe radu i dodajem delić bezvremensske mudrosti. Činjenica da sam otvorena za celoživotno učemke i da uvek težim da budem malo bolja svakog dana, malo osvešćenija i više informisana svakoga dana znači i da težim da inoviram ono što sam i gde sam. Želim da budem katalizator kretanja napred, u odnosu n aglas koji tvrdi da sve treba da ostane tako kako jeste.

Total look Nior Kei Ninomiya

Kao model, da li organizujete svoj dnevni raspored?

Kada imam snimanje ili radim posao manekenke, moj dan počinje veče pre pa ću početi sa tim rasporedom. Uvek vežbam noć pre, što uključuje male težine sa velikim brojem ponavljanja i radim polako tako da nijedan mišić nije preopterećen i ukočen sledećeg dana. Moj cilj ovde je da sve izgleda zategnuto i elegantno. Tada se uvek tuširam toplom vodom, radim piling cele kože i napravim masku za detoksikaciju pora. Obavezno popijem vode koliko mi je potreban za ceo dan pre spavanja i vodim računa da dovedem do 8 čaša koje su mi potrebne za taj dan. Trudim se da spavam što više mogu u veoma mračnoj prostoriji, kako bih izbegala poremećaj spavanja i bila sigurana da nemam podočnjake. Često se tada probudim i pojedem ovsene pahuljice i voće, tako da se ne osećam umorno niti naduto.

Uvek spakujem tonu vode za snimanja i pijuckam je koliko mogu. Uvek ponesite slamku ili još bolje flašicu sa uskom slamkom, tako da vam se ni u jednom trenutku ruž ne pokvari. Spakujem svoju torbu za modele pre odlaska i uvek se pobrinem da imam svoje kartice, gel za podešavanje obrva, providni puder, moju book, ogledalo, šnale za tokom šminkanje koje mi ne udubljuju ili gužvaju kosu, fashion tape, crni grudnjak bez naramenica, nude grudnjak bez bretela i par potpetica koje se odlično uklapaju uz srebro. Ovo su osnovne stvari i u zavisnosti od vrste snimanja, mogu doneti i druge specifične stvari.

Uglavnom se pobrinem da počnem sa laganim pilatesom i dobrih 30 minuta hoda na traci za trčanje. Volim da koristim svoje vreme na traci za trčanje kako bih se bavila poslovnom stranom svoje manekenske karijere: ugovorima, rasporedom, rezervacijama, detaljima snimanjamood board-ovima, i postavljanjem ciljeva. Takođe koristim to vreme da zakažem i rezervišem buduće kozmetičke tretmane, jer je manekenstvo, naravno, potraga u kojoj morate da brinete o svom izgledu. Veoma sam organizovana u svojoj manekenskoj karijeri i imam tablu sa pinovima i kolonama na kojima sve pomeram po određenim trakama. Uveravam se da imam beleške o pratećim aktivnostima i tačno u kojoj fazi se nalazi određeni projekat, snimanje ili prilika. Koristim aplikaciju Monday da bih upravljala projektima, snimanjema, mojim portfoliom i koordinacijama brendova i brendove na kojima želim da radim na mojim društvenim mrežama.

Uvek dolazim na snimanje 10 minuta ranije. Volim da sam tamo malo pre šminkera, jer ne volim da ostavljam druge da me čekaju. Spremana sam da počnem čim su oni spremni i uvek je lepo imati malo vremena pre snimanja gde možete da se upoznate ako nikada niste radili jedno sa drugim.

Nakon snimanja obično vas stopala i noge malo bole, možda čak i grudi ili ramena od tolikog pokreta i poziranja i brze oromene. Obično volim da natopim stopala i noge toplom vodom, a zatim ih masiram kokosovim uljem tako da osetim kako zatezanje popušta. Uvek se pobrinem da dobro operem lice i da se pobrinem da se šminka oslobodi iz svake pore i nanesem jaku hidratantnu kremu.

Kakvi su tvoji ciljevi kao modela? Kako vidiš svoj napredak na ovom polju u budćnosti?

Imala sam tu sreću da ostvaim mnoge ciljeve koje sam zacrtala kao model do sada. Želim da budem na još nekim naslovinm stranama, zasigurno. Želim da u učestvujem u snimanju Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue-a što bi bio najveći uspeh u mojoj karijeri. Želela bih da precrtam sa voje to-do liste da bude Sports Illustrated i Maxim model, je su savršen misk High fashion-a i komercijale. Znak da ste supermodel je dat da ste uspešni i u komercijalnim kampanjama i u fashion modelingu.

Volela bih da budem na nekim međunarodim cover-ima na kojima teritprojama i regionima na kojima prethodno nisam bila. Ostvarenje sna za mene bi bila naslovna strana nekog modnog magazina u Indija. Takođe, volela bih da radim više sa italijanskim magazinima. Bila sam na naslovnoj strani Vogue Italia, ali bih takođe volela da se nađem na naslovoj strani nekog od klasičnih italijanskih magazina.

Nastaviću da se bavim modelingom u narednih destetak godina a onda ću se više fokusirati na promociju mog pisanja, preduzetništvo i zasnivanje porodice. Tako da, vidim sebe kako ostvarujem zacrtane ciljeve i kako se prisećam svega što sam postigla otkako sam se pridružila Elite New Faces Model 2009. godine i započela karijeru modela.

Zainteresovani ste takođe za koncept duhovnog i emocionalnog lečenja. Kako zadržavate balans?

O da apsolutno! Zaista mislim da bi mnogi od nas bili bolje situirani u životu kada bi se bavili duhovnim isceljivanjem i energetskim radom sa istim entuzijazmom kao što trčimo u spa po manikir i pedikir! Veliki sam obožavatelj akupunkture, ajurvedskih tretmana lečenja i balansiranja, lečenja zvukom i reikija. Svi ovi tretmani su veoma uobičajeni za mene i trudim se da uvek učestvujem duhovnim i emocionalno/energetskim isceljenja kad god putujem.

Jedno od mojih omiljenih mesta koje sam pronašla u svetu i koje rezonuje sa načinom na koji razmišljam o takvim stvarima je kuća isceljenja Tierra Santa u banji Faena u Majamiju. Tamo sam doživela najviće oslobađajuće, isceljujuće i najradosnije iskustvo. Osoblje su apsolutni anđeli i pobrinuli su se da imam savršeno iskustvo u banji kada sam prvi put otišla. Prisustvovala sam vođenoj meditaciji koja me je dovela do suza zahvalnosti, što je bilo prelepo iskustvo. Uživala sam u toplim i hladnim spa centrima i arktičkim sobama. Zatim sam otišla na masažu kokosovim uljem sa isceljujućim zvukom kroz korišćenje zdela za lečenje koje su mi bile postavljene na grudima i na nogama i glavi. Bilo je to jedno od najvažnijih balansirajućih, osvežavajućih i životnih iskustava koje sam imala. Ako ste to ikada radili, znaćete da kada zaista uđete u to, vaše oči će početi da doživljavaju fenomen REM faze.

Lično imam veoma duboka duhovna uverenja i duboko razumem da smo mi duhovna bića koja imaju ljudsko iskustvo. Naše emocionalno/energetsko i duhovno zdravlje i ravnoteža su ključ za savladavanje talasa i oluja ovog života. Kada stupimo u kontakt sa večnom dušom u svakom od nas i počnemo da verujemo svom unutrašnjem glasu i unutrašnjoj snazi - ceo svet se otvara. Iskreno verujem da mi kao ljudi treba da posvetimo onoliko pažnje svom duhovnom zdravlju i našoj energetskoj ravnoteži koliko i balansiranju naše kože i očuvanju zdravlja i vitalnosti naše kože. Živimo u generaciji koja je opsednuta spoljašnjim savršenstvom i ulaganjem u svoj izgled, a često trošimo tako malo na ulaganje u svoju emocionalnu ravnotežu i usavršavanje razumevanja sopstvenih unutrašnjih svetova.

Iz tog razloga, mi često jurimo za identitetom, srećom i zadovoljstvom u veoma šupljim, privremenim iskustvima i u stvarima koje nisu dobre za nas ili naše mentalno zdravlje kratkoročno i dugoročno. Moj doživotni cilj je da kroz svoje knjige i dela koja stvaram, pomognem da usadim drugima da su samoisceljenje i emocionalno i duhovno blagostanje svakodnevni luksuz i luksuz kojem svi treba da se prepuštamo svakodnevno.

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You are an author, businesswoman, model, and international beauty queen. Which of the roles is your favorite?

That’s an excellent question, and I’d have to say I don’t have a favorite. I believe each role in my life informs the other. I wouldn’t be a great businesswoman if I hadn’t honed my ability to communicate because of my dedication to being an author, and at that a self-help author. The inner work and self-reflection I have undergone over the last five years is what I’ve detailed in my books, and that inner healing and self-development that I’ve encapsulated in my books as an author is the same stuff that informs how I move through the world as a businesswoman.

As a model, I wouldn’t be as effective without having a rich inner identity as an author, businesswoman, and a beauty queen that gives me so much confidence and lightness in front of the camera. Modeling has also opened up my world so much in terms of the people and personalities I’ve met and had to navigate working with. The places I’ve shot at and the work required of me have all opened up my horizons which has certainly contributed to my confidence in a cosmopolitan, fast paced world in business.

Many people do not realize it from the outside, but the experience of becoming a titled beauty queen starts long before you ever enter a preliminary or express interest in a particular pageant system. In order to be beauty queen material, you would have to live a focused, goal oriented, and ambitious life to begin with. So my ambitions to be an author, pursuing my MBA, and having the set goal of being an effective businesswoman have all enriched my profile for being a good study and a well rounded candidate to be a beauty queen and reach the height of international or world level titleholder.

I would have to say that all of these roles blend into each other to each form a piece of my identity and imbue me with a confidence in myself and my capabilities. I could never choose a favorite at this point, though I am especially partial to my experience as a model - because I began professionally modeling in my late teenage years, and it has brought me so many opportunities and allowed me to pay for my education. Modeling has truly been a gift in my life.

Haljina Milly 
Kaiš i minđuše Versace

You won the title Miss Peru 2021. How does it happen? Did you expect it?

I entered the pageant organization through an application process after researching the beauty pageants which allowed candidates over the age of 27. It is a known convention in the Universe, World, Earth, and International franchises that the cut off age is typically 27 years old. As I did my research I discovered the Ms. Universe franchise, the Universe title which women over the age of 27 are eligible for. Given that the Miss Universe, and Mrs. Universe franchises are the top titles out of all of the grandslams for their age categories and selection criteria - I knew that I wanted to enter Ms. Universe.

Through 2 rounds of qualifications and eliminations I won the title of Miss Peru and was crowned and sashed and allowed to represent the nation in the Ms. Universe pageant, organized by the Miss World International organization. I absolutely did not expect it. I knew that I had prepared myself a great deal, I worked with the team that trains and refines the Miss India and Miss Diva candidates for international beauty pageants. A team that has worked with Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta, and other Miss India pageant greats. I was up at 3 AM my time doing runway walk drills, working on my personal branding as a beauty queen and my messaging, learning cosmetics for stage and suitable hairstyles for my face, planning my wardrobe with the guidance of their expertise. I knew I was really prepared and could carry a national title into an international pageant, but it all comes down to if it is your destiny or your timing. I was very very fortunate that it was my timing.

At the international pageant, I was really fortunate that it was my time to take the top title. As Miss Peru I was able to win and be crowned Ms. Universe, receiving the title from my forebearer Miss Leyla Murugova of Tatarstan. Which was also a wonderful surprise. I had visualized winning, thousands of times, which is something I had worked on with one of my coaches - Natalie Glebova, Miss Universe 2005. She has developed a fantastic curriculum on Winning Mindset and with her help I was able to work on my mental and emotional blocks around winning and around receiving and stepping into my truest self. So few people understand that your own notions of worthiness, and your own blocks truly block your blessings - even in sports competitions and pageantry as it were.

You were the first and so far the only Miss Peru to be a member of MENSA High IQ society. Tell us something about it.

I joined MENSA long before I pursued the Miss Peru title, and I am proud to say it likely was something that made me a stronger candidate in the organization’s eyes. There are so many misconceptions about beauty queens being all outer beauty with very little to offer inside. I think perhaps in some cultures, and in some countries - that is possibly true. Many people may be used to national or regional titleholders who are very fixated on outer beauty only and do not cultivate their inner worlds or establish their intellectual powers to be on the same level as their aesthetic strengths. However, what they are used to in their particular country or region, is not true of what is seen as total beauty in other countries or regions or even for world titleholders.

When we look at countries like India, which is a beauty pageant world level titleholder powerhouse with so many Miss Universe and Miss World winners, we see that the queens are very, very intelligent in addition to being poised, beautiful, graceful, well presented, and carefully groomed and adorned.  This is why there was no other choice to me when it came down to working with a pageant training and preparation academy. I absolutely knew I wanted to work with the team that shaped Miss India titleholders for international level competitions because of the attention they pay to ensuring their candidates are well-spoken and showcase their very real raw intelligence and their beauty and poise is just a beautiful backdrop to that mental acuity and presence. Aishwarya Rai, one of my personal idols, and Sushmita Sen come to mind as perfect examples of the type of beauty queen who leads with intellect and beauty follows.

It was an honor to represent Peru and put Peru on the map as holding the international top level crown in an international beauty pageant. I am very proud to even further be one of the few, if not only, beauty queens at the national and international levels who is a member of Mensa. This looks good for Peru and my special profile as an international titleholder with the added MENSA credential - a combo that is quite rare and therefore gets attention - has helped me shine a light on the substantial marine ecosystem wealth that Peru holds - which must be protected and sustained and held in balance and harmony for the good of the entire Pacific corridor and thusly the planet.

You are the first woman to carry an Indigenous American or Native American national title into an International pageant. Tell us something about it.

My mother is of European heritage, and my father is of Indigenous American heritage. The owner of the Miss Global pageant came across my modeling profile online by chance, and reached out to me about entering the Miss Global 2021 edition. The special thing about this pageant system is that is allows candidates to represent not only their nationality or a country they are tied to but also allows candidates to represent their heritage. The organization asked for my entire ethnicity breakdown and from there encouraged me to join the pageant as the Miss Indigenous America titleholder. They had no one with a stronger profile or deeper connection to their Indigenous American heritage.

As I’ve been traveling a path across the last 3-4 years to really become more connected to the spirituality, healing practices, cuisine, and traditional values of my Cherokee family and ancestors - for me, this was a dream come true. It is an honor to show the world that Indigenous Americans are still here, and that we are a large group of people that spans the entire Americas if you really think about it. From Northern Canada all the way to the southern tip of South America and everywhere in between. It is a privilege to help change the dialogue around topics like “blood quantum” - as a mixed heritage Indigenous American. I love sharing my title, because it always comes with questions. People’s reactions to my title have given me the opportunity to educate on our past, our present, and sustainable future as Indigenous people. Through winning this title and establishing myself as a public figure within our community, and through my modeling work and successes I have become known and referred to in the media more and more as one of the “Indigenous supermodels” along with Ashley Callingbull and Quannah Chasinghorse. It’s absolutely surreal, and absolutely one of the highest compliments I’ve ever been paid.

Odelo Badgley Mischka
Cipele Jimmy Choo
Minđuše i prsten David Yurman

You appeared in a plenty of fashion magazines and international covers. Tell us some interesting situation from some shoot?

I have certainly been lucky to have a long career as a fashion model, and have been fortunate to be included on so many covers and in so many rewarding campaigns. Certainly my most interesting situations have occurred in my work with luxury swimwear brands and as a swimsuit model. That’s the funny thing about swimwear shoots and campaigns, the environments are more extreme. In fashion shoots in studio and during typical runway shows it is usually a pretty standard setup for each. In the swimsuit campaigns I have had some really extraordinary sets ranging from the picturesque and peaceful scenery of Peru’s Paracas National Reserve in Ica, Peru for MAXIM to the happening and sizzling beaches of Miami’s South Beach landscapes. One of my more interesting situations from this particular shoot is that it took place in Miami in July and during a heat advisory! It was truly very sizzling, and 105 degrees Fahrenheit air temperature - and feeling much hotter with the sun reflecting up off the silky white sand. I had to rotate amongst a few photographers so that we could capture shots in different styles because the final photos would be used for a luxury swimwear calendar.

This was a particular challenging shoot because it was all conducted so quickly because everyone was struggling under the heat, and myself and the other models had to be carried away to make it to interviews as spokesmodels of the brand which were scheduled after the shoot. Generally, I would say the experiences on the Next Top Model reality show in no way resemble what modeling is really like - but this day it was exactly like the challenges in the sitcom.

Please picture this, the models and I were cycling to different photographers rapidly and we were cutting up and laughing because we were literally running on the sand in swimsuits like it was an episode of Baywatch. Once we completed our shoots we had to run and jump into this giant black SUV, still in our swimwear and slightly covered in sand to be driven back to the hotel. We were to then get ready in about 30 minutes to be media ready to conduct interviews. It was almost comical how fast we were moving, and if we thought our hair was camera and interview ready then we had to think again because in typical Miami fashion it downpoured for 3 minutes and created tremendous humidity in the air. Eventually 27 minutes, and one sleek bun later, I was interview ready. It was one of the most nerve wracking and extreme (both weather and speed of shoot) photoshoots I’ve ever done. The results were, thankfully, stunning and looked like some of the glamorous Old Hollywood made modern style shoots you see of starlets in Vanity Fair.

What is your greatest strength as a professional?

My greatest strength as a professional is my dedication to being a lifelong learner. I believe my desire to never stop learning makes me a naturally curious person, a strong listener, and a critical thinker. As a professional this helps me to retain new things rapidly, and never get information fatigue.

I also think this attitude of being a lifelong learner means I don’t walk into anything with too much ego. I have confidence, but of course that is very very different than unhealthy ego. I like to approach everything as a destined learning opportunity. If something isn’t working on a shoot, or on a project - I strive to see it as the opportunity to learn something from someone on set. I look at it as an opportunity to rethink my self-belief and dig deep within and find something.

My greatest strength is that I desire to keep myself, my thought process, and my approaches fresh and interesting with an injection of timeless wisdom. Being a lifelong learner and always striving to be a little bit better, more enlightened, and more informed every day means that I strive to drive innovation where I am. I want to be a catalyst for forward motion, rather than a voice that cries out that everything should stay the same.

 As A Model, How Do You Organize Your Daily Schedule?

When I have shoots or modeling work, my day starts the evening before so I will begin with that schedule. I always get in a workout the night before the involves light weights with high reps and done slowly so that no muscle is overworked and stiff the next day. My goal here is that everything looks toned and sleek. I then always take a warm shower, exfoliate all of my skin, and do a pore detox mask. I make sure to drink my full day’s worth of water before sleeping, and make sure I bring myself up to the 8 glasses I need for the day. I try to get as much sleep as I can in a very dark room, so that I can avoid sleep disturbances and be sure I don’t have dark circles. Often times I then wake up and have oatmeal and fruit, so that I don’t feel fatigued nor do I feel bloated.

I always pack a ton of water for my shoots, and sip it as I can. Always bring a straw or better yet a bottle with a narrow straw so that at no point does your lipstick get messed up. I pack my model bag before leaving and I always make sure I have my comp cards, an eyebrow setting gel, translucent powder, my modeling book, a mirror, hair clips for makeup application that don’t dent or crease my hair, fashion tape, a black strapless bra, a nude strapless bra, and a pair of heels that fit really well in basic silver. These are the bare essentials and depending on the type of shoot, I may bring other specific things.

I generally make sure to get in some light pilates, and a good 30 minute walk on the treadmill. I like to use my time on the treadmill to attend to the business side of my modeling career: contracts, scheduling, bookings, shoot details and mood boards, and goal setting. I also use that time to schedule and book future beauty treatments because of course modeling is a pursuit where you need to stay up on your appearance. I am very organized with my modeling career and I have a board with post its and columns that I move everything across specific lanes. I make sure I have notes on follow ups, and exactly which phase a particular project, shoot, or opportunity is in. I use the Monday app to project manage my shoots, my portfolio, and brand coordinations for brands I want to work with on my social channels.

I always arrive to shoots about 10 minute early. I feel a sense of success when I am there a bit before the make up artist because I don’t like to leave others waiting for me. I am ready to get started just as soon as they are and it is always nice to have some time before hitting the shoot where you can get to know each other if you’ve never worked with each other.

After the shoot usually you will find that you feet and legs hurt a bit, maybe even your core or your shoulders from so much movement and holding a posed expression and pivoting to another quickly. I usually like to give my feet and legs a warm water soak and then massage them with coconut oil so that I feel the tightness loosen up. I always make sure I wash my face very thoroughly as well and ensure that the makeup is released from every pore and apply a strong moisturizing cream.

What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progress in this field in the future?

I have been lucky to achieve many of the goals I have set as a model so far. I want to accomplish some more cover features, certainly. I also want to make the cut for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue - because for me that would be a great high point for my career. I’d love to cross off being both a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and MAXIM model, as these are two hallmarks of crossing over and working in both the high fashion and commercial capacity. Truly the sign of a supermodel, is one that can be successful in commercial and fashion modeling.

I see myself progressing to having more cover features in international territories and regions I haven’t been featured in before. A dream come true for me would be to be featured on one of the fashion magazines in India. I’d also love to get more work in Italian magazines, I’ve had features in Vogue Italia but I’d love to work on a cover story for one of the classic Italian fashion magazines.

For me, I am continuing my modeling career for the next handful of years and then I will likely focus more on promoting my written works and on entrepreneurship and starting my family. So for me, I see myself progressing to check off some of my goals and then reflecting happily on having achieved everything I set out to when I attended the Elite New Faces Model Call in 2009 and started my modeling career as a teen.

Odelo Badgley Mischka
Cipele Jimmy Choo
Minđuše i prsten David Yurman

You are also interested in the concept of spiritual and emotional healing treatments. How do you keep the balance?

Oh yes absolutely! I really think so many of us would be better situated in life if we undertook spiritual healing treatments and energy work with the same enthusiasm that we run to the spa for mani-pedis! I am a huge fan of acupuncture, ayurvedic healing and balancing treatments, sound healing, and reiki. All of these treatments are very commonplace for me and I try to always take in spiritual and emotional/energetic healings whenever I travel.

One of my favorite places that I have found in the world that resonates with the way I think about such things is the Tierra Santa Healing House in the Faena Hotel Spa in Miami. I had the most liberating, healing, and joy inducing experience there. The bookers are absolute angels, and made sure I had the perfect experience at the spa the first time I went.I was able to attend a guided meditation that brought me to tears of gratitude which was a beautiful experience. I enjoyed the hot and cool wet spas, the banya, and the arctic rooms. Then I went to a tailor made coconut oil massage with sound healing through the use of healing bowls placed on my chest and at my feet and head. It was one of the most balancing, refreshing, and life changing experiences I have had. If you’ve ever had this done you’ll know that when you really get into it your eyes will begin to experience the REM movement phenomenon.

Personally I have very deep spiritual beliefs and understand deeply that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Our emotional/energetic and spiritual health and balance are the key to mastering the waves and storms of this life. When we get in touch with the everlasting soul within each of us and begin to trust our inner voice and inner fortitude - the whole world opens up. I truly believe that we as a people need to pay as much attention to our spiritual health and our energetic balance as we do to balancing our skin and preserving the health and vitality of our skin. We live in a generation that is obsessed with outer perfection and investing in our appearance, and we often spend so little on investing in our emotional balance and perfecting our understanding of our own inner worlds.

For this reason, we often chase identity, happiness, and satisfaction in very hollow, temporary things and in things that aren’t good for us or our mental health in the short and long run. It is my lifelong goal through my books and the works I birth into the world to help instill in others that self-healing and emotional and spiritual wellness are a daily luxury, and a luxury we should all indulge in daily.

 

Team:

Model: Mischaela Elkins @thatmischaela
Photography: Akin Girav @akingiravphotographer www.akingirav.com
Styling: Alena Brook @alenabrook
MUAH: Alberto Luengo @luengo25
PR: WaveMags Agency @wavemags

 

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