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Kristina Mendonca

From enjoying making people laugh to being a dork, there’s a lot to love about this self-proclaimed bogan and simply stunning down-to-earth Aussie beach beauty…

Awesome photo shoot, Kristina, and congrats on your MAXIM debut.
Whoo! I feel very excited, thank you! This shoot was done at Tamarama Beach, which is next to Bondi Beach in Sydney, and is for my gorgeous friend Rebecca’s swimwear label IIXIIST – shoots with her are always fun! And I was also stoked to finally get to work with Neil [Dixon] – he is super lovely.

What goes through your mind while posing on photo shoots like this?
Nothing! I try hard not to think too much otherwise the shots don’t look natural. I do love the in-between shots so usually when I shoot I look like I’m dancing. And I love to shoot fast!

You look gorgeous in this shoot. When do you feel sexy?
Thank you! I don’t ever feel sexy [laughs]. Usually, behind the scenes, I’m a big dork! I love to pull faces and I’m really just a big bogan.

What is your best asset?
I like to think my personality is my best asset. I love making people laugh and I’ll always remember anything you tell me. Usually my modelling clients think I write down notes after I finish working with them because I will see them a year later and will talk about things we left off from last shoot. PS: I don’t write notes after shoots.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Newcastle, which is two hours north of Sydney, and left there when I was 15 to live with my dad on the Sunshine Coast. My dad was born in Brazil and my mum is half Dutch, but I’m a bogan at heart and proud of it! When I turned 18 I moved to Sydney for work and was living with my stepdad. I have a sister named Kaylee who is two years older than me.

How long have you’ve been modelling?
For eight years but five years full time. I’ve been six-foot tall since I was 15 so I had people scout me all the time. I never took much interest until my dad said let’s give this a shot. He did some research to find the best agency and Vivien’s were the one. They still are and always will be the best agency!

What would you be doing if you weren’t modelling?
I love animals, and wanted to be a vet, but I did work experience at a veterinary clinic and thought it wasn’t for me. I also wanted to be a pilot so if I wasn’t modelling I feel as if I’d possibly be flying planes.

What’s been the toughest thing for you in this crazy COVID-19 time?
I think the unknown is the toughest thing. I was just trying to workout and keep motivated during isolation. It is so easy to get out of routine, waking up at a decent time and writing a to-do list for the day really helped me through the tough times.

You have over 500,000 Instagram followers. What do you like and dislike about being an influencer?
I love sharing amazing products, or anything I’ve found that I fall in love with, but constantly being on my phone and never taking in a moment isn’t great. Whenever I see anything beautiful or anything exciting happens I, just by habit, get out my phone to record things for Instagram.

What’s the weirdest thing someone has sent you on Instagram?
Oh goodness. I’m not sure this is appropriate to go into full detail – just think of PornHub and that is about as close to some of the things that are sent to me. [laughs]

You’ve no doubt had some creepy guys approach you over the years — what’s the worst you’ve had?
I’m not sure it’s the worst, but a once had a guy send me videos on Instagram asking me out for a date, which I thought was very sweet as he didn’t do it in a creepy way. I also had a guy come up to me at the beach and ask for my number. I told him if he could remember it off by heart I’d go on a date with him, as he didn’t have anything to write it down with. He found me on Instagram later that day and got all the numbers right except for one! I thought that was pretty impressive.

So, how can a man possibly win his way to your heart?
Do anything that is caring, and sweet little gestures will always win me over. Wait! He also has to be amazing with dogs!

What do you look for in a man?
Someone who is caring and loves cuddles. And men, you all have to know how to fix things around the house! I also love it when men communicate with me and tell me how they are feeling as sometimes it is hard to get it out of them.

Anything else?
I do also like an outgoing man, who has beautiful eyes, and I’ve only just noticed I have a thing for guys with bushy eyebrows.
What have you learnt about men over the years?
Always communicate with them. Boys never know what you’re thinking until you tell them – even when you think they would know, trust me, they don’t.

What’s one thing men should always know about women?
Be honest and communicate. Never ask, “Are you acting like this because of your period?” NEVER! I don’t speak for all but I love it when men do small things to show they care about you. I will always leave a little note if they are not home. So, if you’re a man, and you’re reading this, and currently in the doghouse, write your lady a cute little note.

If you had to take MAXIM on a date, what would it entail?
I like dates that are super thoughtful. It depends where we are but let’s say we are in Newcastle. I’d make the whole day and night a date but as a surprise. We’d start off by going for a walk along the beach then stopping off at a yummy café for breakfast, before driving up to Nelsons Bay to go to the Toboggan Park. After we climb Mt Tomaree — it’s not a crazy mountain, it’s very easy to walk up – we’d have some lunch down by the waterfront. Once we got back to Newcastle I’d take you to my secret lookout for a picnic to watch the sunset with a cheese board and some red wine.

Nice. It’s our 9th birthday. Besides this amazing feature, what other gift will you hypothetically be getting us?
Hmmm, I’d give you a big, giant card with all of your covers on it over the last nine years. Then I’d give you a puppy. [laughs]

Dogs are cool. Thanks! So, what’s your best birthday to date?
Ooh, tough one. I had my 18th at Splendour In The Grass, which was great, then had my 19th on the way to New Caledonia and my 21st was also a fun one – I had a big party and flew back from L.A. so I could be with all my family and friends. However, this year will be by far the best – we are starting at my friend’s place for rooftop drinks and funky music, heading over to a boat in the harbour to enjoy that day, watch the sunset, and night, then we will be heading over to a studio/warehouse for the after party!

Sound aweosme. Finish this sentence: Public nudity is…
A SCAM!

Where would you like to be in five years?
Hopefully on a beach somewhere with 10,000 puppies running around me – that would be the dream! A more realistic answer would be owning my own business and being able to make it big enough that I can hire a team of people and give the world some more jobs.

What’s next for you?
I can’t tell you too much at the moment but you will see it very soon! All I can say is it is called Anox the Label. Stay tuned! ■

Photographed by NEIL DIXON
Interview by SANTI PINTADO
Swimwear IIXIIST (@IIXIIST,AUSTRALIA-IIXIIST.COM)

For the full article grab the August 2020 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.

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