Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a swimwear model? Kristy Goretskaya — a.k.a. Monica Hansen's model muse — can clue you in. For a look into her life, her work with Monica Hansen Beachwear, and details on her guilty pleasures, read below.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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BIKINI: How did your modeling career begin?

KRISTY GORETSKAYA: I never thought or dreamed to be a model. I moved to Milan when I was 22. I saw all these beautiful models in store windows and magazines, and it seemed to me like [an] unachievable dream.

I was in a different field of work at that time – working at a nursing home taking care of elderly people. Then, one of my friends told me, “Let’s go make you a model.” I was like, “Yeah, right!” but decided – why not? [The] first agency happened to be small — they didn’t take me and [told] me I wasn’t tall enough; I’m only 5'7". I had no portfolio and no photos whatsoever. Then after that, I went to one of the biggest agencies in Milan, called Fashion Model Management, and they took me.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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BIKINI: What was the first swimwear show you were in? What was that experience like?

KG: Monica Hansen Beachwear was the first ever swimwear fashion show I did. The atmosphere was very emotional, positive, and creative. It was great energy all around. I loved how every piece of swimwear fit me.

The best thing about the Monica Hansen line is the way the suits are cut and the fabrics. They are so comfortable, it feels like you are wearing nothing at all. My favorite suits are the ones in blue suede, like the Monica Hansen Beachwear Start Me Up Front Knot bikini top in blue, $119 and the Monica Hansen Beachwear Start Me Up Front Scrunch bikini bottom in blue, $109.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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BIKINI: Did you always feel comfortable shooting in swimwear, or was it something you worked on over time?

KG: At the beginning, I was a little uncomfortable, but after doing it a few times, I began to feel more at ease. In order to feel sexy during a shoot, I like to set the mood with music and try to clear my mind. I never think about what the pictures are going to look like — I just get lost in the moment.

The songs I listen to really depend on the direction of the shoot and the mood that is trying to be captured. A couple of my favorite songs are "Material Girl" by Madonna and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" by Elton John.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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BIKINI: What do your fitness and nutrition plans look like? What's your favorite guilty pleasure snack?

KG: I try to work out regularly but sometimes I don't have time. I love walking for hours and drinking a lot of water. I eat a lot of everything – I wish I ate less carrot cake!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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BIKINI: What advice would you give to aspiring/up-and-coming models?

KG: 1. Never doubt yourself.

2. Never let anyone let you down.

3. Accept your body — shape, height, and form — the way it is.

4. The most important: Have discipline.