Meet SI Swim Search Model Christie Valdiserri - Swimsuit | SI.com
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SI Swim Search 2020: Christie Valdiserri

Get to know SI Swim Search model Christie Valdiserri!

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
1) For bald women to feel normal
2) I've always wanted to fly
3) For women to be seen as strong and powerful (as they truly are) and as complete equals to men.

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If you could personally witness any event in history, what would it be?
My grandmother was born deaf and she went to an all-hearing high school in New York City. When she received her diploma, she obviously couldn't hear her name being called, so her friend nudged her, and she got a standing ovation as she walked up to the stage as the only deaf woman to graduate from that high school in 1945.

What is something that you have never done that you want to do?
I want to create a dance company and go on tour, performing, teaching, and speaking to the world! Also, I really want to be on Dancing with The Stars.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?
About a year ago I was teaching a dance class and I had received a new wig. My students who are young girls ages 9-11 didn't know about my hair loss, because I always wore a wig to teach. So here I am in my new wig, I have it in a high ponytail, because I miss wearing high ponytails so much, and this was the first wig that I could actually do it in. I did a head whip while I was teaching the choreography and boom! the wig was on the floor. One little girl in my class was so sweet, but she was absolutely shocked. She came right over to me and told me not to be embarrassed. But I was bright red and trying so hard to laugh it off. It was the sweetest thing ever and it made me realize my students don't love me for my hair, they love me for me.

What’s the most regrettable beauty trend you have even tried?
Back when I turned 18, I got my belly button pierced. Not my favorite thing I've ever done.

If you could hear one song performed live by any musician what would it be?
“Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara. That one hits deep. This song is so special to me.

What’s something people wouldn’t know about you?
I have the date that I shared my story to the world tattooed on my body.

In a world full or influencers, who influences you most?
My brother definitely influences me the most. He is smart, grounded, driven, determined and wants the very best for me. He understands the world and the entertainment industry in a very unique way.

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What motivates or inspires you?
I am inspired by authenticity. When it comes to work, I am inspired by past experiences and then sharing those experiences in a creative, universal way. Real-life situations that the masses don't always speak about as much or are afraid to share motivate me because they truly humanize us all. Personally, I am so motivated because I want to move my parents out closer to me and live the happy, fulfilling life (doing what I want) that I have always dreamed of.

Do you have a self-care ritual or a creative pursuit?
Every morning when my alarm goes off, I lay there and think of all the things I am grateful for before I look at my phone and start my day. I also drink celery juice every morning, starting my day right is so important to me!

What’s the worst holiday gift you ever received?
The worst holiday gift I ever received was hand-me-down, oversized corduroy pants from my aunt.

What’s your guilty pleasure snack?
Vegan chocolate chip cookie dough.

Looking back, what advice would you give to your 14-year-old self?
I would tell my 14-year-old self to always listen to your gut, it is always right. You can be whoever the hell you want to be. Life will throw you wrenches - accept that now and always, always, always push through the resistance. Never ever give up on what YOU want out of your life. You will always be okay, no matter what. Always remember to take a few moments every day to be grateful for all that you do have, especially for the little things. Your personality shines way brighter than your exterior looks ever will and that will forever be the case. Never ever let anyone or anything take away your radiant shine. Never allow yourself to be jaded, keep your young, full of life, fun-loving energy. Stay true to who you are at your core, dream hella big, and go out there and make a change in the world. And lastly, I would advise my 14-year-old self to live your life!