Curvy Model of The Month: Jaana Santiago

The Puerto Rican and Black beauty fearlessly knocked on agency doors. After several contract offers, now she's gracing the pages of ESSENCE magazine.

Celia L. Smith Mar, 05, 2013

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"Confidence in this field is everything, if I don't believe in myself -- who will?" says Wilhelmina model, Jaana Santiago.

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"A combination of a sexy dress, the highest possible heels (even though I’m 5’10 1/2"), and my MAC Ruby Woo red lipstick," is what Santiago wears to feel sexy.

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Jaana Santiago is a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican and Black descent.

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Santiago's secret to beautiful skin: "Never fall asleep with my make-up on."

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"Because I’m bottom heavy I think clothes that hug my waist flatter my shape better because they accent my curves instead of hiding them," Santiago tells us.

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"I enjoy shopping in boutiques. I also like BCBG, JC Penneys, Kohl's, Christian Louboutin, and I love a good vintage store. I'm pretty simple when it comes to shopping."

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Jaana Santiago gracing the pages of ESSENCE magazine.

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A close-up of Santiago in ESSENCE.

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How does the model get pumped during photo shoots? "Throwing on some Rihanna or Beyoncé never hurts and always gets me in my zone!"

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"I am beautiful from the inside out and I take a lot of pride in that."

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"Some of the activities I like to do to keep me healthy are dancing: African dance classes and belly dancing, running in my neighborhood and flag football with good friends."

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"Different clients, agencies and photographers are all going to have an opinion of you. Take everything as constructive criticism and don't lose yourself."