They say, “ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, suffering, struggle, loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have a sense of appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
We sat down with incredibly beautiful and soulful Anna Zayachkivska (Aнна Заячківська) who represented Ukraine in Miss World 2013 pageant in Bali, Indonesia, on September 28, 2013.
Anna was born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, and studied art at the Art Institute of Vasyl Stefanyk Subcarpathian National University, majoring in religious art. She writes poems, performs in the theater, and became an international fashion model.
Anna, you were one of the top contestants in Miss World Pageant, back in 2013, please share with our readers what made you participate in the Miss World pageant, what did you experience, and how did this experience affects your life?
Nothing is more worthy than an opportunity to represent your native land. World beauty contests allow you to glorify your country’s beauty, intelligence and kindness. This was a great opportunity for me to showcase my Ukrainian culture and traditions, and present my country to the world, as such moments are priceless and motivational.
My participation in the competition made me realize that entire scene is not for me, but I was grateful to represent my country. This experience is priceless, because I was able to go along with more than a hundred beauties from around the world, and explore their unique traditions, style and culture from all different parts of the world. The contest takes much teamwork, because in competition we had to survive various “adventures” and train for the entire month.
Also, I was able to explore and realize most of my talents: singing, poetry, theater, and beauty! I am very grateful to the Lord for everything what is in store for me!
Anna, you have studied religious art, you are a very talented artist in a very spiritual and unique field, please tell us what inspires you to paint, what is your style of art, and how did you decide to pursue such an interesting and different passion?
I graduated from university with a degree in icon painting. For me, it wasn’t only my profession, and I accept it as something that allows me to be closer to God. When you paint icons, you need to have a pure heart and mind, and you need to try to find harmony with your inner world. My choice wasn’t random, but way back from my childhood. I was always interested in religion. My grandmother inspired me to think about God, and about life and death. She was seriously ill for a long time, but she always remained kind and grateful. I wanted to be just like her. I learned to be grateful to God for everything that I have.
Iconography is an art that allows you to get closer to something unexplored, pure, and magnificent, and all these attributes, unfortunately sometimes get lost in our world. It’s very inspirational to reach new heights, even when it’s very difficult, instead of being stuck somewhere on the bottom because it’s easier, and more familiar. In reality, if you wait too long, you can be washed away by a tsunami.
Anna, you are a deeply inspirational, beautiful young lady, and a huge patriot of your country, Ukraine. Please share with us how you support your country, especially in the difficult times we’re living right now. What does your country mean to you, and how do you stand behind it?
When Ukraine was going through the Maidan protests, I firmly believed and supported our Revolution of Dignity. I saw death, wounds, tears and smiles during our moments of victory! I won’t specifically say how I contributed because these actions were only meant for personal glory. I can say that during my entire life I tried to be a worthy Ukrainian, regardless of where I was or what I have been doing.
When I had the opportunity to support various auctions, exhibitions, or other events, I put my paintings for sale, performed songs, and I acted as an inspirational speaker. When I had the opportunity to provide financial support for a worthy cause, I willingly provided that help. For me, Ukraine is my native land, wherever I may be and whatever I may be doing! It is imprinted in my heart! I will certainly respect whichever country I may live in, but my “treasure” is Ukraine. “As for where your treasure is, your heart will remain.”
Having so many different talents: an artist, poet, model, and actress, you stayed very humble and sincere. Please share with us your most precious childhood memories, what is your family like, and who influenced you to become such a beautiful human being?
First of all, thank you for the compliment! My family always inspired me. For me, they are my role model. They are simple, open, hard-working people! And God gave me talents that I recognized and developed. And also, because of my financial situation as a child, I wanted to become someone. I knew that if I didn’t have some success in my life, I wouldn’t be able to support others. That was the source of my motivation and inspiration.
Here is one of my memories, which I’d like to share:
It was on Christmas day, in our little house near the city during snowy and frosty winter. Each member of my family was concentrating on their own task, preparing for the Holy Supper. One thing that always united us was songs, especially Christmas carols! I looked up into the dark blue sky, and envisioned a large bright star. I closed my eyes and the world ceased to exist. I plunged into an unknown silence that moved me to a place, which looked like a big stage with lights. I stood in the midst of that stage, and millions of people applauded me. At that time, I was sure that this was just my fantasy, but few years later, there I was, on that stage, participating in the Miss World pageant, and my fantasy became a reality. I stood there, on that same stage, as I recall from my childhood’s vision, the same stage, and the same star-filled sky, and I performed my song, as thousands of people applauded me.
Your modeling career has brought you to work and live in Italy. How did you end up in this beautiful country, and what have you achieved in your modeling career? Please share with us your experience, living and working in Italy.
Italy is a beautiful country to live and work in. The city of Milan is the capital of high fashion, and yes, I have spent the last two years of my life there. I worked there as a model, for one of the top modeling agencies, “Next Models.” At that time, I collaborated with numerous fashion brands, modeling collections for Ralph Lauren, Philosophy, Tod’s, Les Blue Copains, Anteprima, Etro, Armani, and many more. I also worked as an actress in short movies and participated in numerous videos.
Being a model gave me an opportunity to visit and explore the most beautiful parts of Italy, as well as many other European destinations.
What are your plans for the future, what are you pursuing now in terms of your career, and in terms of your personal life?
Usually, I don’t like to look too far ahead into the future, but I do believe it is important to plan your life. To make a long story short, it’s important for me to feel happy and loved, to realize my dreams, and to be in tune with my inner self. I am also planning to create a charity foundation. I feel this is the perfect time to realize my goal, taking the next steps to make my dream come true.
What are your beauty secrets? How do you stay so beautiful in body, mind and spirit?
–For me beauty is a balance that takes place on the inside and outside. I’m trying to primarily work on my inner world. I believe that our face and body displays our inside state. My secret is simple, I strive to be in a great mood, create positive thoughts. I see and enjoy beauty around me, and it makes me feel and look my best!
When we are sad or when we feel negative, even the eye makeup will never help, and will not heal our soul. So my beauty secret is a state of balance for my inner and outer worlds.
What are your 3 favorite destinations and why? Where do you see yourself living, is it Ukraine? Italy? New York?
I enjoy travel, and I find it a very beautiful and fulfilling experience! I travel a lot, and I love to explore new places, cities and towns. I believe you can live everywhere, but before you make a decision, you need to understand your true nature and your purpose in life. Only then can you decide where you would like to live. I strive to feel accomplished and happy, and perhaps only then can I understand and make a decision where I would like to live. Right now I live in the United States.
Our most famous question is always the last one, what does being in love mean to you?
Love to me means accepting a person with all their advantages and disadvantages, and being in charge of all aspects of my life. It also means feeling trust and support, and most importantly, to grow together spiritually, while striving to move forward towards our goals. When the right person comes into your life, you simply start enjoying the present moment and being with one another. Love is a gift!
Photographer: Vital Agibalow for HENSEL
Makeup: Kate Romanoff
Hair: Pamela Baumgartner
Stylist: Elena Vasilevsky
Assistant Stylist: Anya Katsevman
Dress: Acne Studios, Lisa Perry, Mayle.
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