We hang out in NYC with model and self-love queen, Diana Veras.

We hang out in NYC with model and self-love queen, Diana Veras.

Hi, my name’s Diana

We hang out in NYC with model and self-love queen, Diana Veras.

With over 280k followers on social media and a rapidly growing modelling career, we’ve been fans of 20-year-old Diana Veras’ for a while now. Her views on body positivity and self-love are completely infectious and are helping to change the industry (slowly but surely) for the better.

We spent a day getting to know Diana in her hometown of New York, grilling her on how she spends lazy Sunday mornings and the city’s best hidden gems, to hot topics like social media and diversity within the modelling industry. This girl has big, billboard-sized dreams for the future, and we can’t help but think she’s on track to achieve them.

What’s your favourite place to hang out in the city?
I like my neighborhood (Washington Heights). I like sitting on a stoop and not letting people bother me. Summer is my favourite time in New York, ‘cos you can just hang out outside and chill.

Where would we find you on a Friday night in NYC?
I’m probably at a party, or a show. Or at home watching Gilmore Girls. Those three things - there’s never anything in-between.

And on a Sunday morning?
At a boys house? Not just any boys house! But probably there…that’s where you’d find me!

What do you think is New York’s best kept secret?
Uptown is a hidden gem - so many good restaurants and nobody’s in a rush to get around. And the Bronx too. The Bronx is amazing.

Do you think the city’s changed over the last couple of years?
Yes - so gentrified. Everything that was ‘the hood’ before just isn’t now. There’s not much you can do, but adapt and make sense of it though.

How do you think Instagram has changed the modeling industry?
5 or 10 years ago you couldn’t really see anybody. Then the era of the MySpace girls happened, and then Tumblr…that’s how I started modeling! Instagram and the internet has just changed the industry completely. You can’t censor us out or ignore us now. It’s just about who’s brave enough to put that representation out there and break ‘the rules’ in the fashion industry. To just be like f*** it, here’s a girl who doesn’t look like everybody else.

Do you think it going to keep on changing for the better?
It absolutely has to. Right now it’s so obvious if you have no diversity. Diversity is such a ‘trend’ at the moment, even though it should go without saying that real people should always be represented and seen. But it means that now it’s so noticeable if there’s a campaign and you don’t see a person of colour, or a plus girl for example. I feel like it shows a lack of imagination to do the same thing all the time, its boring and uninspiring. With diversity will come more ideas, because there’s more experimentation.

What would your dream job be?
My dream job right now…Calvin Klein. That goal is in my brain. I’m gonna get it at some point in my life, that’s my dream job. I want to be in Soho on a f***ing billboard! There’s no way I’m not gonna do that.

Do you feel any pressure to be a role model to your followers?
I don’t feel pressure, because I’m just being myself. I’m not actively trying to be anyone’s role model, but if that’s what you take me as and that empowers you then that makes me feel good – it’s important to me to be conscious of things like that.

Who inspires you?
My mom. And Rihanna…she’s my mom too.

What would be your life motto or words of wisdom?
Be in love with yourself. It’s so important to just fall in love with yourself, even the ugliest parts. Not just physically but emotionally. Go through things and let yourself feel things. The internet can make everyone feel disconnected and emotionally detached… but loving yourself and being obsessed with yourself is OK, and loving people is OK! Just love! Life’s too short to try and repress an emotion… I don’t know, I’m just emotional I guess!

Follow Diana on Instagram and Twitter