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Today’s Top Instagram Model: Yelena

Originally from Kazakhstan, Yelena moved to the USA at the age of 21 without knowing how to speak English. Through watching YouTube videos, movies, and reading grammar books, Yelena was able to study English at home. Despite her lack of confidence in learning the language, Yelena decided to enroll in an American University to study English and is now fluent. Currently, she is 27 years old and resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Yelena currently works as a lead personal trainer at a Las Vegas gym. For a long time, fitness has been a passion of Yelena’s, and sharing that passion with others is something she greatly enjoys. In recent years, she has also begun doing fitness photoshoots.

 

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A post shared by Yelena (@yelena_vegas)

There was a time when Yelena grew an unhealthy obsession with fitness, which led to her struggle with anorexia and body dysmorphia. Within a few years, Yelena began to realize that not all women’s bodies are the same. She was liberated to understand that all women have different curves and features which should be celebrated. Her goal now is to educate others about the importance of working out in moderation and maintaining healthy habits. Yelena hopes to inspire others to learn from her as an example.

Initially, Yelena felt she was not confident enough to do photoshoots, despite the many offers she received from photographers. Eventually, a well-known fitness photographer named Brennan Cheung (@photoshoot.ninja) on Instagram, who trains with Yelena at her gym convinced her to give modelling a try. Brennan was the first photographer to get Yelena into fitness modelling. The modelling experience, according to Yelena, opened up a “Pandora’s box” of confidence for her. Yelena realized after her first photo shoot that she truly did enjoy it and felt comfortable in her body. Yelena still would not consider herself a professional, but modelling is one of the things that help Yelena stay inspired and remain in shape.

Breanne Forest

A part-time writer for Rated Viral, Breanne currently attends university in Calgary and is planning to become a social worker. In her spare time, she participates in charity events and Indigenous activism.

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