She may have been born in Russia but stunning 2018 MAXIM Australian Swimwear Model of the Year runner-up VALERIA SIZOVA now calls Down Under home. And we ’re happy to have her…
Tell us a bit about yourself, Valeria.
I ’m originally from Russia and moved on my own to Australia at the age of 17 to obtain an Australian education. I completed a Bachelor of Political and Social Sciences degree majoring in Government and International Relations, planning to become a politician. I ’ve completed Certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness, I ’m a qualified Master Trainer and Nutrition adviser and I ’m currently the winner of Miss Russia Australia 2017, Miss NSW Face of Origin 2017, First Runner-up in the 2018 MAXIM Swimwear Model of the Year and also came 2nd (1st Runner-up) in the World finals representing Australia in 2018 in China. I ’m also the owner of Icrave Dance & Entertainment company that caters to the artistic community of the greater Sydney area and Australia.
Having a Russian background, what did you find hard about adapting to Australia at first?
It was definitely a challenging time to come to a foreign country that speak a different language and I couldn ’t speak a word of English. So the language barrier was the first problem that came along, but there were more surprises still to come. My Russian migration agent was supposed to organise an Australian host family, as I was under 18, to look after me and help me with English, settling down and meeting me at the airport etc… I ended up catching a taxi mumbling the address as I couldn ’t even pronounce the correct words! My host family was a lovely Vietnamese one who had exactly the same level of communication in English, so it took me a while to start speaking the language. I was doing three jobs at that time, with crazy long hours, and managing a full-time university degree that definitely gave me a massive push to learn the language and get adjusted to the culture that i absolutely love. I wouldn ’t change a thing as it made me the way I am now.
Your degree sounds impressive. Why the hell did you want to be a politician?
I know, probably something people wouldn’t even guess about me! OK, so before the age of six I was very determined to sell flowers for the rest of my life since I do love all different sorts of flowers. However, my “tough” Russian mum told me I would never be rich if I sold flowers and since then my plan was to either do law or something related with government work because my father is a policeman and I always felt I wanted to make a difference and do it. I got accepted to Law School at the University of Sydney and then did one year of Law. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up with the international student fees for and so the next best option was politics. I will definitely pursue my degree and passion for politics later in life when my bikinis don’t look as good on me.
Nice one. This MAXIM shoot was done in Bali. Anything funny happen on the set?
Except the wild monkeys willing to steal our bikinis or anything kept in our stunning opened-to-jungle bathrooms, there were also water snakes, tropical creatures hiding in the water and jungle but we were pretty safe on this trip considering I got back to Australia!
What is your best asset?
My eyes. The way you look into the camera or anyone can give so much more sense of sexuality and flirtatious nature than just a bum shot for my forever favourite “hump day” Instagram post. Otherwise, it is my never-gone Russian accent.
When do you feel sexy?
Wearing a bikini or lingerie because it emphasises a woman’s sexuality and unique shape in each of us.
On the days when you ’re not posing for MAXIM, what would we find you doing?
My work schedule is always hectic so I can’t complain. I do run my own dance and entertainment company which involves choreographing dance shows, teaching classes, workshops and running events. The favourite part of my working day is either teaching a couple their first wedding dance or creating a brand new choreography and teaching my girls for the next performance. As for modelling, I’m mostly busy with bikini and lingerie campaigns and the next most popular gig for me is bridal and formal catalogue/campaign work.
Describe a typical day for you?
My day always starts with gym – whether it is a cardio, a weights session, sauna or stretching you’ll see me there every day! Then it’s either a photoshoot or my dance classes that I run throughout the day. After 7pm is the time with my dance crew to get into rehearsals for our next show. I do run workshops for catwalk training/stage choreography and flying to the MAXIM Australian Swimwear Model of the Year (ASMY) finals this month will be another exciting thing to do with a bunch of beautiful contestants – I can’t wait!
Yes, last year you were First Runner-up in the MAXIM ASMY. Why do you think the judges chose you as one of the top three?
What I absolutely love about the MAXIM ASMY comp is that judging is not purely based on looks but personality, attitude and overall impression you make on judges throughout a tough and stressful week of the finals. I believe my stage confidence and personality got the attention of judges which I really appreciate.
Describe your overall experience competing in this contest.
I loved it – win or lose it was an amazing life experience and I had a great time with the girls and all the organisers. It’s not the first place that can take you places but doors that open for you once you are exposed to this type of competition – photographers, designers, sponsors, clothing brands, other models… You never know who is watching you but you better be prepared and give it 100% to make sure people take a very a good look at you and want to work with you in the future.
What advice would you give to the contestants taking part in the MAXIM ASMY on the Gold Coast this month?
Be yourself, work hard and give your absolute best at all times on-and-off the stage. I never compare yourself with other girls competing in the final. We are all so different and you simply can’t afford to waste time trying be something you’re not instead of preparing yourself for a big week ahead. The fact that girls make it to the finals is already a huge success for each of them. Be confident, practice your walk, pose in front of mirror to find your best poses and angles, stay humble and down to earth so people get to know you better.
Describe your perfect date?
Instead of having a standard full-course dinner and drinks I’d love to go for a dessert-only dinner. I have a very sweet tooth, plus sugar makes everyone happy so it will be a guaranteed good date!
What do you look for in a man?
Sense of humour, loyalty, generosity and intelligence.
What have you learned about men over the years?
Men are forever kids in their hearts, so as long as you play with them, and feed them on time, they will be happy.
What ’s one thing men should always remember about women?
Chivalry. That’s right, most men don’t even know the meaning of the word. This is MUST for all real men and every woman wants to feel like a lady loved.
Where would you like to be in five years?
Successfully running my current Icrave Dance and Entertainment business expanding the business and exploring other services like offering personal training, catwalk workshops, programs, beauty tips, lifestyle coaching that takes more holistic approach to life and obviously many more shoots with my favourite MAXIM.
FULL NAME: Valeria Sizova
BORN: July 3, 1992
HOMETOWN: Vladivostok, Russia
LIVES: Sydney, NSW
FIVE-WORD SELF DESCRIPTION: “Well, it ’s more than five words but I ’d say I ’m hardworking, caring, loyal, always keen to learn more and be the best version of myself every day.”
HOBBIES: “Reading books to relax my brain, doing my daily workouts, creating choreography for a new song and watching my Russian match -making and legal shows especially when I’m cooking!”
PHOBIA: “Oh, yes, I’m scared of spiders and the ocean. Yeah, I know, I picked the best place for migration right?!”
FAVOURITE DRINK: “Mojito extra sweet and extra mint please, with some cherries on top!”
HANGOVER CURE: “Try Russian style – a sauna sweating session with 80-100 degrees heat and then jump in a two-metre-high snow-like freezing cold pool. Guaranteed recovery!”
LIFE MOTTO: “Never compare yourself to anyone else!”
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: YUNI WILSON
PRODUCER: BELINDA ROELOFS
BIKINIS AND LINGERIE: MARY HOLLAND
VIDEOGRAPHER: CAMERON BRUNT
LOCATION: THE MANDALA PORTFOLIO – BALI
For the full article grab the June 2019 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.