A lover of reading, human psychology and a great advocate of all-round mental health. We talk today with model Nikki Gal who tells us more about her life, her career and her nonprofit organisation ‘Raw Talk with Nikki Gal’. This platform was created to give women a safe space to share their life experiences.
What was your life like before you started your modelling career and what were your plans?
I grew up in Massachusetts and always had big dreams. Before I started modeling, I had dreams of becoming an artist and going to art school for digital design. I also had plans of becoming a fashion designer, as the art of fashion has always been a part of my life.
Let’s talk about your platform Raw Talk with Nikki Gal: Can you tell us more about it and its development to date?
Raw Talk with Nikki Gal is a nonprofit organisation and platform that was founded in 2021 to break stigmata pertaining to mental health as well as promote advocacy for women’s wellness. The platform has provided women of all walks of life a comfortable space to share their raw and candid experiences with each other and with our society. The Raw Talk with Nikki Gal podcast launched in June 2021, where over 160 interviews with women were covered, which included topics such as self-esteem, social media’s effect on young girls and women as well as the power of reinventing ourselves in today’s society. Raw Talk with Nikki Gal has gained an audience of listeners in over 40 countries as of present day.
Speaking of self-esteem, could you list what women should do to feel more proud of themselves and their bodies?
Women deserve to explore and express themselves, their presence and their energy. I like to think of self-esteem as a need rather than a want— all women need to incorporate their own form of self-embrace and self-esteem in their lives. Whether it’s leaving sticky notes on your bathroom mirror of positive affirmations, painting an abstract self-portrait you’re proud of or taking daily walks to refresh your mind, there’s always a way to enhance your own health within prioritizing yourself.
I know it is very difficult to express preferences, but you have worked with many photographers and creatives: what was the experience you enjoyed the most, the most fun, the craziest?
I have always enjoyed shooting with photographers that encourage me to move in an artistic and versatile direction. One memorable moment for me was when I was sixteen, a photographer and I were shooting in Boston. He asked me to pose in the middle of the busy city street with moving traffic, and I said yes. I was in the middle of an intersection, and there had to be at least 30 cars. As I was jumping up and down in 5 inch heels for a mid-air shot, the photographer managed to put his hand out to stop cars while he simultaneously shot photos of me— it felt like something out of a movie. Definitely by far the most fun and crazy photoshoot I have ever done.
Has there ever been a creative that you long to work with, like a photographer in particular or a makeup artist?
I have always found makeup artist Hung Vanngo so talented within his artistry— he really can create a face.
What is the best part of being a model? The incredible excitement during the creation of the editorials or seeing your face on the covers?
Meeting so many talented individuals who are passionate about what they do. Every editorial and cover I have been in has been such a great experience, I am very grateful to be part of the creative process and the wonderful energy.
Speaking of personal care: we want to know everything from your beauty routine to how often you go to the gym. It’s a job for you, but it’s also about self-love, isn’t it?
My beauty routine involves five things— H2O, vitamin C, moisturizer, cleanser and sleep. They all provide and perform something different in my every day life, and my personal care and beauty routine. As far as working out, I like resistance training, yoga and meditation. Taking care of your body is not only important for your self-love journey but also your mental health. My mind and body feel rejuvenated after my workout routine.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Can you tell us something about your private life?
I’m really big into reading— I’m kind of a nerd. I love reading psychology books and learning about the human brain and how it operates. One of my secrets is collecting vintage designer pieces from the 80s and 90s— I have a lot of vintage Prada and Burberry pieces in my archive.