My name is Neysha, and I’m married, with three sons, aged six, four and two. The three great loves of my life are the fact that I am a daughter of God, my family, and fashion. I am a model by profession, and now I still give seminars on fashion.
Although I didn’t study fashion, various circumstances made me look in that direction for my career. When I graduated I started work in a boutique where they offered me the chance to attend classes at a modelling academy. I felt at home there and modelled in several fashion shows. In 2004 I represented my town in a national competition for Miss Puerto Rico Universe. But I don’t want to talk about my own career but about how God took a hand in my life.Something that St Josemaria said gave rise to a great discovery. He had written, “There is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to you to discover it.” This opened up new perspectives on my relationship with God. I realized that God was calling me to serve him in and from my family and work – that that is where God is waiting for me every day.
While I was working as a model I met my future husband, and made good friends with his mother; that stirred up new questions in my soul. When we were going out together he explained why he disliked seeing girls and women wearing bikinis, because he wanted them to be more modest. I decided to follow his advice. On one occasion, when we were auditioning for a fashion show, I was the only model wearing a one-piece swimsuit. My colleagues were surprised, but respected my decision. The designer chose me because he was struck by my wearing the one-piece swimsuit.
My husband’s family attracted me a lot: they were a big, happy, very united family. I wanted a home like that. My husband went regularly to Christian formational activities, and I started to do the same. Thanks to the teachings of St Josemaria, I rediscovered the power of love to transform everyday realities, by finding that “divine element hidden in the details”. That has protected me from boredom, and helps me not to flag in my zest for my housework and bringing up my children.
To keep myself in form, I make the most of the opportunities that I have. It’s practically impossible to find the time to do aerobics or keep-fit, so I exercise when I’m and home and with the children. For instance, when I go shopping I park the car a good distance from the supermarket, so that I have further to walk.
I have left the catwalks behind, but I give fashion workshops. Preparing young women to take their first steps in the world of fashion is a unique opportunity to encourage them to be very professional, and to learn to say no to projects that aim to turn women into objects
St Josemaria used to say that husbands should see their wives looking really attractive at home, and I do my best to follow this advice every day. My home is my new catwalk, where I try to look more elegant than ever. Like that, I am showing that I respect my husband and setting my children a good example.
Now I dedicate myself full-time to my family. I have left the catwalks behind, but I give fashion workshops. I recently took part in a seminar for young people. One of the girls there told me that she very much wanted to work in fashion, but was put off by the constant pressure to abandon her standards. The seminar enabled her to gain a deeper understanding of her personal worth, and to discover a fantastic field of work for the future.
Although my family is my priority, I want to continue influencing the clothing culture from where I am. Preparing young women to take their first steps in the world of fashion is a unique opportunity to encourage them to be very professional, and to learn to say no to approaches that aim to turn women into objects.