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Dani. New Zealand.

09/22/16

Dani. New Zealand.

People see me as Free-Spirited Dani but I still have struggles.

I’m twenty-five, I think, I don’t know, I forgot after twenty-one. Outside of modelling I don’t do much, I pretty much kick back, surf and do a bit of life saving now and then.

I’m the middle child of five so I tend to push the boundaries on everything in life which is a good quality to have! I’ve always had to try and voice my own opinion and stand out from the rest of my siblings. The thing with my parents is that they tried to force us outside all the time.

I’m living at home helping mum and dad out. One day I’m modelling the next I’m picking up horse shit. It’s a pretty simple life. I love that it’s so extreme. All the other models that I know are either at school or they’re 100% into modelling and they would never pick up horse shit. I don’t mind picking up horse shit, I get to think about my values, what I’m up to that day, take in the smell.

What gets me going in the morning is a large cup of soy coffee and about five to six cigarettes in the space of half an hour. In spite of this I have great skin thanks to genetics and Girl Undiscovered!

I definitely give props to New Zealand’s Next Top Model, it’s introduced me into a whole new lifestyle and career but I wouldn’t give it all the credit. I went based on a dare. It’s a blur to me now but I do remember certain parts. Sometimes I have nightmares and wake up and still think I’m in the New Zealand's Next Top Model house and I’m like "get me out!".

 

My tribe is Te Whānau-ā-Apanui. East coast. The school that I went to had about 100 students and with most of them being Maori and coming from Maori homes all the other kids used to bully me because I didn’t look like the other Maoris at school which kind of made me like “eh? I’m Maori. My parents have told me that I’m Maori and I’d been brought up with that lifestyle, like ‘family history comes from this line, family history comes from that line, you’re a Maori!”. But it was just hard to sort of persuade them, to tell other people that because they’d just say “you’re not Maori because you’re not poor” or “you’re not Maori because you’re not black” and just dada dada da, but you know, I’ve got freckles, that’s my Irish side and I think I’ve got big lips, I don’t know where they came from but I feel connected to my ancestors and I feel connected to my family history.

Growing up we spent a lot of time not only living with our parents but also with my grandmother who’s also still alive today. She’s ninety-six. I still have a lot to do with her. Before we put her in a home I spent two years studying dementia. and I got this certificate so I could formally look after my grandmother. It just so happened that I was living at home. Grandma was at home as well, I was her full time carer. She was a bitch growing up, but trust me, she’s a GC.

To me, beauty is just a title and that’s what we need to get over, we’re all human, it’s just a name of something. For me, beauty is just peace, calm, tranquillity.