|Flaws and All with Barbara Zatler | Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Angels - Interviews|
|Written by Khalid "Bless Theangels" Bey | Editor in Chief | As Seen in the NY Times Bestseller: Rat Bastards|
“I am on the countryside in Sweden and I am sitting near a window and I see fields and a small hill with some trees,” our angel states. “Missing a blue sky because it’s a cloudy day.” Cloudy day and all, her mood is sunny. She answers my questions with a refreshing candor, embracing the exchange I find myself absorbing her words.
There will always be people with ‘opinions.’ It literally feels like the world is run by opinions, where someone else’s idea of something or how they simply feel about it becomes a springboard for the abandonment of dreams and personal goals. Modeling is one of those occupations that its participants are forced to defend their most basic right; the right to be who you want to be. “I love that I get to work with so many talented people around the world and I get to see much of the world,” says Barbara Zalter, a model from Denmark. “So much beauty just waiting to be seen! But I also like that I get to work with body language and expressions and of course to get many good pictures. They make time stand still… something for the scrapbook when I get old.”
I agree with so much that she has emphasized. Why not add as much beauty to the world as possible? It’s what we are all about at Angels Playpen; Heaven on Earth. “I see beauty everywhere,” Barbara states. “Especially in things with flaws; I see it because it makes it unique and different and that’s real beauty. Not something flawless because then it gets too mainstream and boring. I like if we let age run its course if we talk about us humans. People can’t handle getting older; well let me tell you something… You cannot run from age or the fact that this is the way of life and has been from the first day we humans set foot on this earth. Deal with it,” she admonishes, “and you will see beauty just like I do! Such a shame and run after the younger perfect look.”
Ironically it was Barbara’s seemingly perfect looks that led to her modeling. “I started modeling when I was about 22 years old,” she recalls. “I got discovered by a photographer who wanted to take my picture. At first I didn’t want to because I was unsure about if I had what it takes to become a model but he convinced me otherwise so I agreed to try it out. The images came out great and I got a lot of positive feedback on them. That inspired me to pursue a career as a model and I got into an agency but after some time I decide to go solo and be my own agent!”
Since Barbara became a model and then took charge by becoming her own agent, not much about her personally has actually changed. “I am still the same person,” she tells me, “and that’s what my friends love about me. It is just a job like any other; the only difference is that with this job you can’t help but being a public figure. The only thing that has changed is that I have to think about what I do or say in public as the press could have an interest if I go and do stupid things, not that I do but one must be careful.”
It is true that once a person becomes a public figure; appearances and travels must be handled... selectively. Her travels are to places that were usually destinations for business, but once there they touched her heart. "Oh I have many places that I like but if I have to choose one over the other it would be California," Barbara says convincingly. "I really love it there! You wake up to a beautiful blue sky almost every morning and no winter! I can't get enough of it and I have met some really nice people over there so I can't wait to go back!"
Barbara is from Copenhagen, an insomniatic city that she says never sleeps. "Copenhagen is beautiful in the summer and I love being at Nyhavn; Nyhavn is one of the oldest parts of the Copenhagen Harbor and dates back to 1673 and the houses there are from the same period. I love the atmosphere there, along with all the cafes along the harbor. Just lovely!" Our angel may be from Copenhagen but her roots run a little deeper. "I am quite the mixed breed as my family comes from most parts of Europe but I was born and raised in Denmark so that would make me Danish," she points out. "My mother is Slovenian, Italian, German, Austrian and Serbian and my father is Danish and Swedish; so they both have learned me a lot about different cultures and how we are all different yet the same."
It seems as if Barbara had a pretty decent upbringing but was she... decent? With a bit of laughter she admits she was actually horrible. "I was a bit of a tomboy when I was little," she says. "My mom always said to me that I should have been a boy [because] I always came home very dirty with mud all over and messy hair. I played with cars and not with ponies. It was first when I was about sixteen I think more about how I appeared and show interest in boys." Her interest in boys is now an interest in men. "I don't really look for anything," says Barbara. "I think things come natural if I should get attracted to anyone. I don't believe in a dream man because then you will just end up looking for something that you will never find and maybe lose Mr. Right while looking for Mr. Non-Exist!" She definitely knows what doesn't interest her in a man. "What I don't like in a man is someone who don't know how to be nice to other people, racists and those that don't like animals."
Being a wild-child does not mean she grew up without a care in the world. Our angel cares. "The things I care about, like my animals, my family and friends and of course my work," Barbara says passionately. "I lay much effort into it. It takes most of my time but I do not forget my friends and family!" And she is not just another pretty face and great body. "I am quite the little nerd," she says, "that loves to do genealogical research. I started because I didn't know much about my ancestors and therefore wanted to know where I came from. I never knew my grandparents so I had to find out who they were by myself and that lead me to many corners of the world!"
"I like to travel and see the world, meet many different people and cultures," Barbara professes. "This is really exciting and you learn a lot about how the world looks like! There is so much beauty that is just waiting for you to go see! I also like to spend much time in the nature; I am a real nature person. The best thing I know is to go deep in the forest and find a quiet spot in the sun and lay down in the grass and read a good book while the birds are singing and my dogs are playing! This is really life at its best!" We all know the world can be quite negative. With this being a fact, each of us needs a way to balance, to find peace of mind, however fleeting it may be. "My dogs and my cat," says Barbara about what brings her daily joy, "and that I have such great people in my life. And to get my mood up if I'm gloomy I take my dogs for a walk in the forest. Here I find my peace of mind. I love being in the wild as I am a true nature person."
Achieving peace of mind isn't easy, well maybe for some but not for those of us who... care. To achieve 'heaven on earth', Barabara says it is in fact easy. "Stop killing each other over stupid things like money and power," she insists rather passionately. "Stop the extinction of animals and I would be glad! Peace on earth please," she demands. "I know this is only something I could dream of because it is never gonna happen... But one is allowed to dream."
Aside from dreams of world peace and saving our planet's inhabitants, her modeling career has taken on a purpose of its own. "If you really want to make it in this industry it takes a whole lot of persistence, stubborness and determination to achieve what came for. There are so many beautiful girls out there who want the same thing as you do," she says. "So many times you will be turned down or it's just not your look the are going for at the time. So it is hard and some give up because they get sad and feel something is wrong with them, but there is not anything wrong, and we can't win them all. But if you believe in yourself it is possible to become a great model that gets booked. But most important you must be humble and nice to people and be on time for shoots or you are done for. Nobody wants to book a lazy diva who thinks she is the boss of things. So the keyword is to be nice, be reliable and you will do just fine."
Our angel admits to not being a fan of brands; doesn't even have any that she would particularly like to work with as a model. "For me fashion is not something you see in the magazines but how you yourself put clothes on your body," explains Barbara. "If you buy what is in at the moment by looking in some fashion magazine then I do not call it fashion by copy clothing. It is boring to just look like something that just came off a runway show. Stand out with your own taste and if people don't like it... so what? As long as you do. I mix all kinds of clothes together and I love mixing color; Fashion is [to] be yourself!"
Being Barbara must be a pleasure, some things one just has to look at in their lives and be appreciative. "One of the biggest achievements in my career is most certainly my cover of Playboy Magazine when I was a Playmate in both the US, Slovenia, Poland, Netherlands and South Africa," she recalls proudly." But also my work in GQ Magazine, Esquire Magazine and that I have been published in almost every country you find FHM magazine." Barbara I must admit is attractive and... special. I find myself drawn to her. There is something about this angel that is impressively unique and definitively remarkable. "That I am me," she screams in response as acknowledgement or plain declaration. "I think that we are all different and therefore I am one of a kind; so that makes me, me!"
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