Valentina Rock – Art Model and Muse
Valentina is an Italian born Art Model based in London, where she moved aged 21 from Casale Monferrato, her home town. “Born in Italy, but made in London” as she puts it, Valentina is gorgeous, curvy and increasingly in demand. She recently took part in a podcast called “Models on Modigliani” for the Tate Exhibition in honour of the late artist. Her infectious personality attracted the Italian version of Radio 2 to interview her on body confidence – through the lens of her job as a model and the perception of her profession by society.
I’ve known Valentina for a few years now and she is fascinatingly unique. The blend of her Italian accent rolling off one humorous quip after another, whilst totally comfortable in her own skin makes her quite beguiling. Whilst she trained also as professional make-up artist, she ventured into the world of Burlesque, and these skills led her to pose as a life model. She’s now proud to have been chosen as one of the muses for famous Italian illustrator and master in his field, Enzo Sciotti.
Valentina’s confidence makes her an inspiring woman, but it hasn’t always been the case; she’s endured traumas in her earlier life and hasn’t always felt at ease with her naturally curvy figure. But it was renowned model Esther Bunting who invited her to pose with her at one of her company’s events that led to Valentina discovering a new perspective on her own body.
Now totally happy with herself, she’s come to realise the importance of being healthy for your body type. Her motto is Life is WonderFULL, and she’s planning to run her own blog in the near future.
1. What’s the best thing about getting older?
The best thing about getting older is becoming more assertive and self aware. I believe true confidence comes from life experiences and a place of vulnerability. Sometimes a “kick in the teeth” can make us very wise … and learning the pleasure of “becoming” rather than “being”.
2. Who is your female inspiration and why?
I have been very lucky as I have encountered many strong female role models in my life . However, close to home my maternal grandmother; she raised me and had great style, yet she was very humble . She was a true matriarch, she kept the household running, the finances in place. When my grandfather (a kind and very clever man), unfortunately fell ill, she kept going like only real women know how to in times of adversity. She was also an amazing cook (I still have her recipe book), and a fantastic seamstress. She had a great sense of practicality, which I do not possess! I have learnt compassion from my mother and self-respect from my step-mum. I have been lucky to have wonderful women close to me.
In terms of public “personas” there are few role models I get inspiration from, Sophia Loren, Marta Marzotto and Mae West to name few. What fascinates me is their stories, their wit and their great determination.
And then my colleagues - fellow models, too many to name!
3. What’s your top tip for growing old gracefully, perhaps one beauty tip?
I have a few here:
For the mind, educate yourself. Be curious and be authentic. Learn to say “no”. Master the art of irony, it’s fundamental to get on. Be honest but try not to hurt people’s feelings, it’s unbecoming.
For the body, drink plenty of water, eat and exercise for your body type. Being aware of what your body needs. For good skin mix rose water and witch hazel after cleansing: this is an old trick and always works. Another tip is: don’t buy the most expensive product in the market, experiment! If Nivea is right for you, use Nivea.
4. What would your younger self say to you now?
To be consistent in my choices and nurture my passions. To believe in myself more. It’s amazing what we can achieve if we only listen to the people who really want our best! And to love my body as it is, because is Wonder-FULL . I often say (and write), life is a learning curve and it is!
5. What are your dreams for your future?
To keep doing what I enjoy doing and do it at the best of my ability. To keep writing, modeling and have my own program one day, a bit like Paula Yates when she used to interview guests in her boudoir! I have so many things to say, everything is possible!