Eternally debated topic in modelling is a meaning of beauty. Some girls become famous and successful models while others stay unrecognized. Why is it like that?
Well, there are more reasons, e.g. an effort to do modelling at any cost, listening to the voices of over-motivated experts or mistaking the final modelling position (when a model does not seem to be the right choice for a particular photo shoot or catwalk). My advice to models has been the same over the years – be an irresistible and alluring person.
A beautiful example is Monika Vráblíková whose international modelling career and popularity have been growing by the month. I am honoured that she agreed with the interview in which we not only unfold her story, but also answer if modelling is a profession or lifestyle.
Do you remember the first modelling photo shoot, how was it?
Yes, I remember it very well. My friend, who was in the first semester of the secondary school of photography, offered me a photo shoot, you know, just to try it out. I like trying all things, so I agreed. When it started, I felt very good and comfortable, I didn’t have to pretend anything, I enjoyed every second and pose. The name of that photographer is Natalie Hauerlandová. I remember her unforgettable words – “Wow, Moni, you are like a top model, you can pose and have a facial expression, I can see you like it very much.”
You got my attention by beautiful gestures, catwalking, expressions and an ability to properly pose – have you learned everything or it is all in you?
All people know what they feel, and I feel that I just have it. No one is wise by birth. In my case, it was more about observing than learning, what and how to do, to perceive the modelling industry. Since I think I have it, I just had to look at models and I knew where I could improve or made a mistake. What´s more, I did not stay with observation only, I also wanted to improve what I learned in order not to be an exact copy – to make a difference. I just put my own personality and character into it.
Modelling is about moments we do not know when they come. A model must be ready to grab an opportunity with no hesitation. What do you actually do to be ready – any diet, exercises, special care programmes, etc.?
There isn’t anything special worth of mentioning, honestly. Sometimes I do workouts, my diet is pretty regular. When a new modelling opportunity appears, I just “psychologically tune” myself and that’s it. Many times, inner radiance plays bigger role than beauty.
There have been many competitions, catwalks and photography sessions so far. If any of this could be repeated because of being a highly rewarding experience, what would it be and why?
All of them have brought me a rewarding experience in many ways. A woman who wants to do modelling should appreciate every positive and negative moment. To illustrate, a broken heel during a catwalk – terrible and embarrassing, but the next time, a model knows how to deal with a broken heel and she can respond in a much better way. In these times, there are many competitions and it is crucial to broaden a modelling experience thinking about better future results.
All modelling events and photography sessions are mostly about stress management – what helps you to deal with ongoing stress?
I have no stress before any photo shoot. I always come to a place positively minded, smiling and psychologically well-balanced because I know that I am going to, in my case, relax! There is a bit of stress when having a catwalk due to responsibility and importance of creating the first impression for a particular designer or brand. Thanks God that stress is truly almost invisible.
I love a catwalk very much, giving a smile on either side and people always return it to me. I love being the centre of attention, it is relaxing. Being on a catwalk is like being on a sofa, I rest, forget about problems and gain a new energy. Love it!
Are there friendships in modelling; or is it just a tough business with fake impressions among people involved in the industry?
Sometimes, it seems like the best friendship, and after a while, it is all over. Sometimes, you think it is just an impression, and then you realize that it is the best friendship. It is hard to answer this question, however, after a particular time in the industry, you just know what to do. It is important to distinguish between those girls who just want to talk while having a drink and the ones who want to steal your valuable contacts and just disappear from your life.
Monika, you are based in the lucrative area of Bratislava – Brno – Vienna; how easy/hard is to get a job offer in this prestigious Central European region?
At the beginning, it was very difficult. Partly, because I was not registered in any agency as I wanted to achieve everything by my own. Well, I actually continue in this, not being under any agency, believing in myself and relying on myself all the time. There were situations when I burned my fingers, however, that is exactly what I was talking about – positive and negative experience during the life. To get a solid modelling job, you must grow up in a modelling way.
Modelling means that your body earns money – is this any ethical issue for you?
You can make money with your body in many ways. My body earns money in the way that I am not ashamed of.
Igor Kmeto and Dara Rolins sing the song Woman and Man, is there any difference in modelling for women and men or the industry offers the same conditions for everybody?
Certainly, there are different requirements for women and men, for example – a height. Regarding to a modelling perception of being a man or woman, I think it is pretty the same. Stress, criticism, fake impressions but also friendships and positive thinking. It depends on the nature of a particular person. I am obviously a female, so I don’t know precisely how men see the industry. Nevertheless, I believe that men manage stress better than women whilst men handle criticism worse than female models.
You are the Czech model living in Slovakia. How do you see a difference between the Czech and Slovak modelling, relationships and the industries?
Well, that’s a difficult question, but I started to be much more interested in modelling after I moved to the Slovak Republic. Since being on my own, I had to work much harder in order to cover all my expenses considering that I didn’t want to do anything else. This hasn’t changed. However, thinking more deeply about your question, I think there is much less networking among models in the Czech Republic than in Slovakia. In Slovakia, girls at least pretend to be interested in others, but in the Czech Republic, they are usually very independent, for example, this girl I don’t like, so I never contact her.
A difference between a model and hostess – many girls, on contrary, think it is the same job – tell us how do you see it?
There is only one difference. A model must fulfil certain requirements (height, weight, measurements), but hostess doesn’t. A hostess needs to be nice and pleasant, that’s usually all they ask for.
What about your family, sister and modelling – are they happy with your successful career and supporting you, or they say, would you rather be a doctor, a lawyer, or an office assistant?
The truth is that parents´ disagreement was the reason why I moved to Slovakia because they did not want me to be a model. They were afraid of me because they knew I was spontaneous and very stubborn.
I admit that when I applied for Miss Alpe Adria (Miss Central Europe) and I was about to go to Croatia, they did not want to let me go anywhere. Mum was at work, my father was sleeping after a night shift, so I took the opportunity, packed up and left with the first bus to Bratislava and then followed the girls to Croatia.
I met a girl from Bratislava during the contest with whom I got along, so after we returned from Croatia, I stayed some time in her flat and then I found my own accommodation in Bratislava. Since that moment, I have been living in Slovakia.
Now that I have been away from my parents for a year, they get used to it and fully support my modelling career. Sister? She is my beautiful princess and we miss each other. If she wanted to do modelling, I would try to persuade her not to do it because modelling is a tough business. A person must be sharp and strong. Her fragile soul would easily vanish in the industry which I cannot allow.
Is there a possibility for a relationship with a model considering all those photo shoots and catwalks, surely many men see you as a very attractive woman, so it might be not that easy for a partner, right?
Certainly, a model can be in a relationship because partners should trust each other in all situations. However, I don’t have a relationship because the only thing that can really change myself is not people, but a true romance. Since I am working on my career, I just simply cannot afford all this right now.
Which three aspects do you love about modelling?
There are no three aspects. I love everything about modelling! I love the chaos, organization, preparation, people, catwalks, cameras, …. I am taking modelling as the industry, I do not divide or separate anything.
On the contrary, any three aspects you hate about modelling?
Unfortunately, I really don’t want to speak about it, but I tell you the truth. The only issue that bothers me is that girls sometimes give fake impressions about anything.
In order to get on a modelling bandwagon, girls often try TFP photo shoots. I am sure you have some experience with it, too. What sort of experience do you have with TFP photographers?
Since I never joined any modelling agency, I also started with some TFP sessions. When I achieved a desirable portfolio, I started to participate in modelling contests – Miss competitions. I did not need to win and photographers got to me with a job offer.
Nevertheless, TFP photography is not all roses, you know. I also went through bad experience, but it was mostly because I was inexperienced model and I really wanted to achieve something. In conclusion, TFP photography is all right, however, it is good to be very careful when you expect professional results.
What does professional photography mean to you and when you know that images will be really good?
Well, it depends on how well a photographer slept over the night.
If you could choose only one photo which fully expresses your modelling personality and attitude, which one would it be?
I love creativity. There is no a single photo I could present to you. When considering a really top picture of myself, I see it as an artwork with all its aspects. I like browsing artwork pictures.
Is modelling influencing your personality or vice versa?
Modelling doesn’t influence myself in any bad way. I would rather say that my character influences modelling, which I believe is the best way to build a professional career. If you know that a work doesn’t affect you, but you influence what you like doing.
I consider your ability to almost instantly match facial expression with the posture of the body during the photo shoot as your strongest point in modelling, so photographers must be very happy to collaborate with you. What is the truth, what do you consider to be your core value for the modelling industry?
Well, I hear this very often, too. However, I think that my core values are determination and stubbornness. With this, I know how to “put my head up” and go for what I really want to achieve. Being determined to continue doesn’t allow me to give up, even I sometimes stumble.
A spare time and Monika, what do you do when you want to “switch off completely”?
As I mentioned already, my brain shuts down when I am on a catwalk. I just love it.
A well-known Czech and Slovak trait is envy – do you feel it in your life?
Yes. People who envy should realize that we all have the same possibilities. If you want to achieve something, you have to do something, not being on the sofa at home. Also, people who devote their lives to future goals on 100% do not have time to look at others and envy. I do not think about it.
Most people think that a model doesn’t know to count to five, goes to top hotels, participates in photo shoots and spends money. However, when we called for the first time in order to arrange the interview, I had an impression that you were a regular girl with good communication skills. Why people usually think about models in a negative way?
In my opinion, it is because many models go abroad through agencies when being only 14 years old, so they do not have enough time to go to school, and sometimes they even do not finish it because of work. I fully understand this point of view, but on the other hand, people should consider a fact that many times, a model has much better practical education “by life” as she knows how to react in many situations; which schools unfortunately don’t teach. How to live and act in real life teaches only life itself.
You write inspirational poems – tell us more about it, can we read any?
Yes, I do. I have written about 40 poems so far. When I get to 100, I want to publish a book and inspire people who do not believe in themselves or have a low self-confidence level but want to achieve lifetime goals.
A bit more private question now. There are lots of vibes around you, always something happing in the busy modelling industry. However, do you sometimes feel lonely, if so, what do you usually do in those moments?
I love people and socialising a lot. Nevertheless, I really appreciate moments when I am alone. What’s more, I can tell you that sometimes, I am looking for to be alone and just enjoying my solitude. During that, I think and think, and think again about everything I want to achieve and how to make my dreams come true, I inspire myself.
What is currently going on in your modelling world?
I am at the final of Photomodel of Europe competition in which I appreciate and enjoy the time with others. Well, there are more to come, however, I would keep it private for now.
What is your message to all girls thinking about a modelling career, but they are not sure how to start?
There are two options, actually. Either start with TFP sessions and build your portfolio to a certain level which you can show off or to register in a modelling agency. Most importantly, stay yourself because nobody wants to work with damaged characters.
Monika, is modelling a work or lifestyle?
To me, a work is fun. I just couldn’t do something that I do not like. I know that a full-time job in the office or something like that would not be for me, I would run away even without being paid.
Have you expected such a frank interview with Monika? Well, Monika is a very beautiful woman and internationally experienced model. She considered beauty as a start point, not the most important asset. She builds her life and modelling career having own opinion and ability to decide for herself; what moves her forward in the way she wants to.
She recognized the tenderness and cruelty of modelling. Determination and stubbornness align her modelling career path, but more importantly, create an “Haute Couture” living space in which she presents who she really is – an irresistible and alluring person.
Monika Vrablikova authorized the article on 4. 8. 2018