Anja Konstantinova – Resetting the Bar

Words:
Vanessa da Silva Miranda

We speak to Anja Konstantinova – model, mom and the first PUSS PUSS covergirl about re-setting the bar standards for height, feeling like a goddess and where she got her feline streak from.

    Issue 1

    Ai Weiwei — Anja Konstantinova — Celia Hammond — Jean Jullien — Jon Gorrigan — Karen Guthrie — Liam Sparkes — Nina Pope — Rasha Kahil — Vicki Murdoch and more. The launch…

You grew up in both Russia and Australia. How do these worlds mix?
I’m a very laid back person with that “no worries” attitude that most Australians have. I think it’s very special that I grew up in such polar opposite places and it really shaped the person I am today. I think it’s very important to not forget where you are from, to keep up the traditions and teach them to your kids. I love cooking Russian food for my friends.
As a model, you reset the bar standards for height. Can you tells us a bit more about the start of your career and some memorable experiences?
I started my career very unexpectedly. I was working at a local hair salon in Melbourne as a receptionist and one day a woman walked in, asking me if I ever thought of becoming a model. I thought she was crazy because I’m so small, but at the same time I thought, “Why not?” I was not expecting anything to come from it. A few months into it, a few hair jobs later, I booked my first ever magazine spread shoot and it really blew my mind. Opportunities just kept coming and coming. I moved from Melbourne to Sydney and then to New York. I worked with the most incredible people, in the most beautiful locations, working for magazines like Vogue, Oyster, PUSS PUSS. Seeing my little self on billboards feels like a dream and I still have to pinch myself every day. I guess I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time. I’m very proud of myself for changing the standards of modelling a little bit and being a role model to younger girls. It’s really cool to see  how the industry is changing every day.
You’re obsessed with cats, even having some feline related tattoos and were of course the first ever PUSS PUSS covergirl. What attracts you to this animal?
I always had cats growing up. They are mysterious, elegant and independent. I like that. I like that they are strong minded and do things in their own time. My star sign is leo, so maybe I have little bit of feline in me.
You’ve recently become a mom. How has the motherhood experience been for you?
Being a mother to Ozzy is the best thing in the world. I have always been very maternal so now I feel very complete. It’s been a huge self loving and grounding experience. 
It looks like you are back working and shooting again, how do you manage to combine that with being a mom?
I didn’t know the meaning of multitasking until I became a mum. Thankfully, I am lucky that I can bring my little one to work and actually work with him. 
In your work, your main tool is your body. How was it dealing with all the changes it naturally went through?
Self love is something that lots of people struggle with, I am one of those people. For years I was mean to my body, not looking after it, always putting myself down, always feeling the enormous pressure to stay slim and toned. When I got pregnant, for the first time in my life I really looked at my body and was in awe of it. Women are amazing. I loved being pregnant and I loved watching my body grow. I felt like a goddess. I felt very relaxed in my own skin but also powerful, beautiful and strong.
You have 3 pets – 2 kitties and a dog – and pets are often not very welcoming of new arrivals of the little human variety, how have Moonunit & co responded to your son?
At the moment, the pets are not bothered by him, but they are very curious. I cannot wait to see their friendship blossom. 
“When I got pregnant, for the first time in my life I really looked at my body and was in awe of it. Women are amazing. I felt very relaxed in my own skin but also powerful, beautiful and strong.”