25-year-old model and blogger Nika Kolosova (aka Nicole Ross) was born in Minsk, but now she travels around the world. She has numerous nude photo shoots to her credit, including in Playboy. Also until recently, Nicky had a successful Instagram profile with 380 thousand followers. However, after the rules tightened and several blocked, she had to start a new page without nude photos.
Nika talked to us about her work, her attitude to “nude” photos and her career as a nude model in Belarus.
“A guy cut the hair on my head.”
– Tell us how you got into modelling. Did you start in Belarus?
– Honestly, I never thought that could ever happen to me.
I was 17 years old when a very unpleasant thing happened to me. I was in a relationship with a young man, I was not happy with it, and I suggested we break up. The person’s reaction was inadequate and aggressive. He attacked me and, among other things, cut the hair on my head. He kept repeating that now I would be ugly, nobody was interested in me and I would be alone.
It was a shock, I was very worried. First of all, a lot of stress, and secondly, a drastic change in appearance is not my desire. Passing by the mirrors, I tried to close my eyes. Especially 17 years – the peak of adolescence, when you are constantly looking for flaws and grow complexes.
However, after a few weeks of reticence and near despair, I realized that I had to do something. I wanted to challenge the situation, society, to prove to myself that I can be interesting in any way, with any hair.
To gain confidence and improve self-esteem, I decided to do a photo shoot to look at myself from the outside. It is funny, but until then I did not like to be photographed at all. Now I remember my first photo shoot with a smile, because I did not understand what I had to do. I just stood like a deer in the spotlight, flapping my eyes and trying to think where else to put my hand or foot. But I was lucky, I went straight to a good professional photographer. I really liked the result of the joint work, and after these photos were published on the Internet, I was immediately invited to shoot by other photographers.
– When and why did you decide to participate in nude shoots? For example, because you are not ashamed of your body, because you like yourself, or is there a financial issue as well?
– I did not start shooting nudes because of financial interests. Many people do not even realize that in our country such shoots are almost never paid for models. I only started getting money for my shoots when I signed contracts with foreign agencies and editions.
I started shooting more because I did not like myself; I was self-conscious and unsure of myself. It was only with time that my work helped me to acquire the qualities I lacked and to understand and feel the beauty not only of my soul but also of my body.
I never thought that a naked body is bad. This is how nature created us. I don’t divide body parts into “normal” and “embarrassing”. Just my arms, legs, breasts, butt. I have them just like any other person.
The nude has always attracted painters, sculptors, and poets, and no one feels embarrassed when galleries are covered with pictures of naked women and men. Now photography is replacing painting, but the inspiration for the photographers still remains the same. And the perception of nude art depends on people’s upbringing. After all, there are enough ignoramuses who even in the figure of David see only a penis.
– Did you move to Russia? It seems to me that in Belarus there aren’t many opportunities to make a career in photography, especially in nude photography. Is this true or am I mistaken?
– I didn’t move to Russia, my home is still Minsk. But I’m rarely here, I travel almost all the time.
In Belarus, it’s impossible to build a modelling career. Almost all the girls shoot for TFP (for free), for shooting catalogues for clothes/whites brands offer to pay for their products, at fashion week models work for $20. There are, of course, exceptions, but I’m talking about the majority.
All models who gain some fame work abroad. Not because they do not love their country, but because they simply cannot earn money for their work here. It’s also difficult for photographers in Minsk to find work only if it’s weddings or corporate events. And shooting fashion, beauty and even more so nude almost never bring local photographers money.
“It’s much easier to look good with clothes on”
– What is the difference between the business of nude photo shoots and just photo shoots?
– As such, there is no distinction between nude photo shoots and the modelling business in general. The only thing I can say is that nude photo shoots are more difficult than ordinary photo shoots because it is much easier to look good with clothes on, as a correctly fitted outfit will hide any figure flaws. And to look good without clothes, you have to try and make a lot of effort.
– How did you end up in the pages of Playboy? Did filming have any effect on your career?
– I have been in Playboy several times. My photos can be found on the Russian Playboy website, I was also shot for the Ukrainian Playboy-2018 calendar and I was on the cover with the second model.
The shoot was great, the calendar was even shot in the Maldives. I can’t say that after appearing in Playboy I got more orders, because I mostly work abroad, and foreign photographers do not follow our magazines. Though it may have had some effect, it is hard to say, because I was a sought-after model even before I was published. But Playboy made me happy and proud of myself for sure.
“Sending dickpics and writing offensive comments is more immoral than filming naked.”
– Tell us about your blog – why did you decide to start a YouTube channel (also in English) about traveling to warm countries?
– It was a spontaneous decision by my videographer whom we travelled with. After all, you have to share your emotions, impressions and experiences somewhere. It seemed to us that it would be interesting and useful for people.
But you are wrong to think that our vlogs were only in English. We only made two releases in English, all the rest were in Russian, but with English subtitles.
Frankly speaking, Russian-speaking viewers are very different from foreign viewers. Perhaps the peculiarities of their mentality have an impact. I noticed a great desire to be snippy, to criticize, and to look for faults. Foreigners, on the contrary, approve and support you.
– You often publish your nude photos on social networks. How do your subscribers feel about it? Is it the case that they may send you a dick pic or reproach you for being “immoral”?
– There are times when this happens. But I am cool with it. Inadequate people, unfortunately, in our society, a lot. I think that sending dickpics and writing abusive comments to a stranger – more immoral than showing your beautiful photos, even if they are nude.
– Why do you think people from the former Soviet bloc have such a complicated relationship with their bodies?
– In my opinion, this is the result of an inhibited Soviet upbringing, where there was no emphasis on individuality and where the grey masses were brought up.
Today’s youth is a generation raised by Soviet grandmothers and mothers. You and I remember that in the Soviet Union, there was no sex and it was inadmissible and shameful to demonstrate one’s sexuality.
– Why do you think the “morality” movement has been growing lately? Facebook and Instagram are blocking what they consider to be explicit profiles, and there are groups in Runet that stigmatize “skins. Where do you think this puritanism comes from?
– All of the events you listed should not be lumped together. There are separate reasons for each of them.
Instagram and Facebook have tightened their rules because of a law signed by Trump against sex trafficking. But this has absolutely nothing to do with the emergence of groups like the “marketplace of skins” on Runet. I think it has to do, again, with the national mentality.
In the West, people are focused on themselves, on their career, on their family and on their personal life. They do not care about others. And in the post-Soviet space, whether because of financial problems or national character traits, people love to gossip, to stir up scandals, to dig into other people’s dirty laundry. And they get a lot of pleasure out of it. In fact, they have nothing else to do, and so they amuse themselves. Mostly this is done by people who are not puritanical, but vicious, mean and jealous, who have achieved nothing in this life.
– What, in your opinion, is sexuality? Is it the maximum of the naked body or something else?
– Real sexuality is not really about nudity.
In my opinion, sexuality is energy, charisma, sensuality, a look. For example, looking at a portrait photo of a model, you can judge her sexuality, even though the photo only shows her face.
If a girl is self-confident, liberated, feels good and free in her body, and is not afraid to be herself, then she will attract others. And for this you do not have to be a beauty from the cover of the magazine and the parameters of 90-60-90.