Yovanna Ventura Makes a Zoom Photoshoot Steamy in #CUARENTENA
What does model Yovanna Ventura do to keep herself busy during quarantine? She’s #werking.
The Dominican model—who has already accumulated over 5 million followers on Instagram—says she’s just getting started. And while she spent the first three months of staying home doing video workouts, Zoom meetings, and online classes—she then took a breather and found time to kill it for a Zoom cover shoot.
Check out Yovanna’s thoughts on COVID, the Black Lives Matter movement, and coming into her own as a model. Plus, a message for her fans.
How did you get into modeling?
When I was young, my mom had me doing some baby modeling, but I didn’t really get into professional modeling until two years ago. I was extremely shy as a teenager. I loved performing and entertaining my family as a kid but in my teen years I became withdrawn because I was bullied starting in middle school. It’s taken me years to overcome my fears.
Tell us a little about yourself and the evolution of Yovanna Ventura.
Growing up I’ve lived in Dominican Republic, Spain, and Miami. I love spending time with my dogs and family, but I’m also very ambitious. I have a lot of goals for my career and it’s such a high for me to work hard and be able to check off accomplishments along the way.
Is there anything about modeling that you once disliked that you now love?
I used to be afraid I wouldn’t live up to expectations of me and now I love being able to challenge and exceed those expectations.
What has your life been like during these past couple months of quarantine? What are some things you’ve been doing to stay sane?
I quarantined alone for three months. At first, I just threw myself into online classes, live workouts, Zoom meetings with my team and really just anything I could to stay busy and not think about all the jobs, friends, and family I was missing. Eventually I just broke emotionally and had to take a step back from everything and gain back some perspective on what is important to me. I spent time with my family and in nature and just completely re-centered.
Speaking of the pandemic, as an Afro-Latina how do you feel about everything currently happening in our county and around the world during the Black Lives Matter Movement?
I feel extremely frustrated and hopeful at the same time. I’m angered at the treatment and murder of Black people in this country. I’ve tried to use my platform to not only raise awareness of the issues at hand but also what you can do to help. The incredible amount of voices of change is moving and I just have to hope this momentum continues and people get out there and vote for equal rights and treatment for Black lives in this country.
Growing up did you ever struggle with your identity as an Afro-Latina and if so, what advice can you give to anyone dealing the same thing?
I’ve struggled with my identity especially because I have lived in so many places. Growing up in the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States; there was always a part of me that didn’t feel “enough” or felt insecure about the layers that make me who I am, but these experiences all have importance to me now. I am so proud of my heritage and my growth as a person. I am truly comfortable in my skin and that has just taken time, self love and patience. My advice to anyone struggling with identity is to start from within. Accept YOURSELF and then work on demanding that respect from anyone in your circle. If you encounter someone who is not willing to give you that respect—trust me—you do NOT need that person in your life.
You use your platform to not only discuss beauty and fashion but to bring light to various current issues. What made you do this and how has this helped or hindered your brand?
Like many of my peers, I started on social media when I was a teen. At that time it was all just super fun and a cool way to express myself. From there, it became the starting point to what I wanted to pursue for my career and over the years it’s become more of a reflection of who I am, what I am into, and what is important to me. I am more involved in current issues, so that’s been natural for me to share that on my platforms. I really don’t worry about the effect on my brand because I feel a responsibility to have my voice heard and to hopefully encourage others to not be silent about the things that really matter the most.
What void do you feel you’re filling in the fashion industry?
The Yovanna Void!! LOL. Jokes aside, I am proud to represent my Dominican brothers and sisters and hope that I can be someone who when you see me, you can relate. You can see a girl from humble beginnings who is chasing her dreams.
What do you really want your supporters to take away from this interview?
Gratitude! I am so grateful for each and every one of my supporters and the amazing people who have been along for my journey. Trust me, I am just getting started!!
Model: Yovanna Ventura
Photography and Creative Direction: Prince Chenoa and Jacob DeKat
Styling: Amanda Delduca