Know Your Limits w. Johannie Valdes | Secaucus, NJ PDF Print E-mail
Angels - Interviews
Written by Khalid "Bless" Bey | Editor in Chief | As Seen in the NY Times Bestseller Rat Bastards   
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So… I apparently burned out another hard drive. My many interviews with beautiful angels and creative minds from around the world appear to have been too much for the electronic hardware. My fingers repeatedly contact letters and symbols imprinted on plastic squares, thousands of pictures cropped and enhanced with multiple programs simultaneously tending to various tasks.  I suppose carrying on in this manner for twelve to sixteen hours a day will put pressure on any CPU. But when it comes to these wonderful angels and all the heaven there is to be found on earth, my addiction, this mission is both a blessing and a curse; it demands so much and gives the same in reward.  Its girls like Johannie Valdes that prompt this extreme behavior.



“Hey everyone!” announces our newest living mural and tatted angel. “My name is Johannie and I live in Secaucus, NJ, a small town about ten minutes from Manhattan.” Both parents born on the Caribbean island country of Cuba, Johannie herself admits she enjoyed a rather tranquil upbringing, highlights minimal however embarrassing incidents were resplendent. “I was a nerd,” she recalls, “too many embarrassing moments to just name one. Not many highlights… I had a pretty boring and uneventful childhood.”

An uneventful childhood contrasts with the lively image before us. She has a look that doesn’t conjure the image of a quiet past, though she does confess to a few regrets. “Unfortunately I cannot share those things with you guys,” she says disappointingly, “sorry.” My disappointment lasts barely a breath, knowing this interview will unveil much more of the Cuban beauty. There is something about her she says people don’t know, a hidden treasure if you will…; she has a beautiful voice to go with her physical beauty. “I can sing… really well,” She discloses, “I just choose to leave my voice in the car and shower.”


Though Johannie keeps her singing a secret, she is soon to show off another hidden gem. “I love improv and look forward to taking acting classes soon.” Acting is calling her name, requesting her presence in film and television, reciting memorized lines in front of recording cameras. “I’ve always been told that I should be on TV.” In that case, I say go for it. She has chosen three words to describe herself; Sexy. Confident. Creative. I like all three. I would like to also add intelligent as this interview proves. As a businesswoman, she remains loyal to herself; unshakably so. “[I] am always up for negotiations but I still know my limits.”


Knowing her limits, Johannie’s motivation reflects this awareness. “I’ve always been a motivated person but also try not to overwork myself,” she admits. This self-awareness kept also kept major sacrifices to a minimum. Experience, the mother of all teachers, has taught her a valuable lesson; one of which I too have been forcefully educated. “Always stand on your own,” she says of working in this industry, “it’s good to be nice but sometimes being overly nice can have people eat you alive.”


Johannie’s modeling began shortly after she turned eighteen. “It came to me naturally more so than other people in the industry,” she says. “Besides having fun with creative concepts and working with extremely talented people, I’ve also turned it into a full-time career.” Her career spans many genres of modeling including glamour, alternative fashion, commercial, nudes, erotic and fetish. “I take all the opportunities that are given to me and happy with everything I’ve accomplished so far.” Johannie’s modelesque influences are Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Clara Bow and Edie Sedgwick, just to name a few.



Johannie sees all models as unique in their own way so there is no reason to seek out specific qualities that separate her from the others, she just does her. Since becoming a published model, she has seen a definite increase in paid projects still she knows “most of them are still derived from me networking my little butt off,” she says. However, I wanted to know what she thought men and women admired her for. “Haha,” she starts with a laugh, “well to speak for most guys who follow me on the interwebz, I’d say that they just want to see me naked in the most erotic ways possible. The very few girls, who do admire me, admire my spirit the most.” Her eyes, despite how sexy she is, bring her the most compliments.


Beauty having the effect it does on people, I wondered if she notices men being intimidated by hers. “Yes and no,” she answers. “You’ll always get a combination of men who are afraid to approach you or have no idea what to say when they do and those who are overly confident and end up getting angry when you show a lack of interest.” Never has she ever approached someone she was attracted to. “I’m an old-fashioned lady and never make the first move.” A romantic, mature guy with a sense of humor and good hygiene is her usual suspect, the type that usually attracts her. Big egos, liars and selfish guys all turn her offs.


At the time of this interview, she Johannie has a boyfriend. This doesn’t mean she has encountered any unforgettable moments of love though, in fact, she ‘barfs’ at the question. Her boyfriend does make her laugh every day, which makes me happy to hear. Joy in others is joy to me. Jokingly she states theirs is a true love-hate relationship. Though Friday night in a black dress is when she’d consider herself sexiest, she feels her boyfriend would prefer her on a lazy Sunday morning in an oversized tee. I would have to agree. “Some people are attractive…” says Johannie defining beauty. “Some people are sexy… some people are beautiful. It’s all about how you express yourself. Sometimes I can be all three at the same time depending on my mood.”


Johannie is a Gemini, “which is just a short way to describe psychotic, two-faced, compulsive and bi-polar.” Her words show a blunt honestly I can’t help but like. “Sometimes…,” she says with pause and a touch of humor, “my bitchy attitude can hinder the power of my beauty.” Actually, I find bitchy girls cute, it’s my attitude I must pay attention to. Some say I can be harsh at times. If I ever were to be able to count her as a dear friend, a possibility she concedes, and by misfortune, I made her upset, what gift would she accept as a token of apology? “I generally don’t need gifts to forgive someone,” she says firmly. “It depends on the severity of the act itself and whether or not a gift would suffice.”


Upon waking, thoughts of what I imagine to be a shitload of emails, first pop into her head. I suppose that’s the businesswoman in her. If she is home later in the day and there is nothing to watch on TV, there is a good chance she’ll just put on Look Who’s Talking. Living in Secaucus she says the best things are Fresh Mozz from Giovanni’s, Plank Rd Inn and Blue Pineapple frozen yogurt. If it’s a time to party D’Jais in Belmar, Nj is her spot. Shopping is just as selective for Johannie, Anthropolgie and independently owned vintage thrift shops. Del Posto in nearby New York City and Satis in Jersey City are two of her favorite places to dine. Johannie’s days used to include working out almost daily but the results weren’t appealing. “I started to notice that I bulk up easily since I’m small framed.” Now she limits herself to twice a week.


Once again I find myself completely immersed in the story of an angel. An angel who wishes she’d invented Nutella, wishes to see “money distributed evenly amongst those who work hard for it”, looks to transition from modeling to acting, loves Blueberry Pineapple frozen yogurt, and cannot live without her cellphone. For this wonderful interview, Johannie deserves a little heaven on earth. Let’s send her to a place of her choosing, a place where she can unwind unmetered. “Bali,” she chooses and says “free cocktails for everyone” would truly make it heaven on earth. Granted.






Model Mayhem