Helen Hernandez

AF: What was the motivation in getting involved in the modeling industry?

HH: My motivation for getting involved in the modeling industry stemmed from a desire to represent my culture, showcase diversity and inspire others. Growing up in Aruba, I saw the beauty of our people and our traditions, and I wanted to share that with the world. Modeling provided me with a platform to celebrate my heritage while also challenging societal norms and advocating for inclusivity in the fashion industry. Moreover, I saw modeling as a powerful means to empower young girls and boys, encouraging them to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams with confidence.

AF: We know that you won Ms. Aruba which is amazing accomplishment. Describe you feelings when you were awarded Ms. Aruba?

HH: Winning the title of Miss Aruba was an incredibly surreal and overwhelming moment for me. As my name was called and the crown was placed upon my head, a rush of emotions flooded over me – joy, gratitude, and a profound sense of accomplishment. It was a culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief in myself. Standing on that stage, surrounded by my supporters and fellow contestants, I felt an immense sense of pride not just for myself, but for my country and its people who had supported me every step of the way. Winning Miss Aruba was not just a personal victory, but a testament to the power of perseverance and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

AF: Coming from Aruba and now living in New York City, what has been the most challenging in changing countries and cultures? How were you able to overcome those challenges?

HH: Transitioning from Aruba to New York City indeed presented its share of challenges, particularly adapting to a new culture and way of life. One of the most significant hurdles was adjusting to the fast-paced lifestyle and the hustle and bustle of city living, which was quite different from the laid-back atmosphere of Aruba. Additionally, navigating cultural differences and learning to thrive in a diverse urban environment required patience and resilience. To overcome these challenges, I sought out opportunities to immerse myself in the local community, connect with people from various backgrounds, and embrace the richness of New York City’s cultural tapestry. I also remained open-minded and adaptable, willing to learn and grow from every experience. Through perseverance, determination, and a willingness to embrace change, I gradually acclimated to my new surroundings and found my place in the vibrant mosaic of New York City.

AF: Who has been your biggest critic? How did you implement that criticism into your career?

HH: My biggest critic has often been myself. As someone who strives for excellence and is constantly seeking self-improvement, I can be quite hard on myself at times. However, I’ve learned to view self-criticism as an opportunity for growth rather than a hindrance. Instead of letting self-doubt hold me back, I use it as motivation to push myself further and strive for greatness in my career. I implement constructive criticism by reflecting on my performance, identifying areas for improvement, and actively seeking feedback from mentors, peers, and industry professionals. By embracing criticism with humility and a willingness to learn, I’ve been able to refine my skills, expand my horizons, and continue evolving as a model and advocate.

AF: What advise would you give to young girls who’s inspiring to be models, entrepreneurs or artist?

HH: My advice to young girls aspiring to be models, entrepreneurs, or artists is to believe in themselves wholeheartedly and never underestimate their  worth or potential. It’s essential to cultivate self-confidence, resilience, and a strong sense of determination to overcome obstacles and pursue their dreams relentlessly. Additionally, I encourage them to stay true to their unique voice, embrace their individuality, and never compromise their values or integrity for success. Surrounding themselves with positive influences, seeking out mentors, and continually honing their craft through education and practice are also crucial steps toward achieving their goals. Above all, I urge them to never lose sight of their passions, stay committed to their vision, and remember that with hard work, dedication, and perseverance, anything is possible.

AF: What’s next for you and your career?

HH: As I continue to pursue my career as a model, I am excited to explore new opportunities and challenge myself in various aspects of the industry. Whether it’s working with renowned designers, participating in high-profile fashion campaigns, or advocating for diversity and inclusion within the fashion world, I am committed to making a meaningful impact and pushing boundaries in my field. Additionally, I aspire to use my platform to inspire and empower others, particularly young girls, to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams with confidence. With dedication, passion, and a willingness to evolve, I look forward to the exciting journey ahead and the endless possibilities that await in my modeling career.

Photo by Jose Veira 

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