Viktoria Modesta was born in Daugavpils, Latvia on 25 February 1988. Viktoria is an alternative model, singer/songwriter, and stylist. Viktoria moved to London with her parents in 1999 to escape life under a post-USSR regime. Viktoria is not unlike many of the 'Who's that Girls' I choose to feature. She is beautiful, she is confident and she owns who she is with 100% of her soul. But it is her strength and sheer defiance in the face of true adversity that makes her a stand out 'Who's that Girl'.
Viktoria spent most of her childhood in hospitals following an accident at birth as a result of doctors negligence resulting in a lasting problem with her left leg. In 2007, she had a voluntary, below-the-knee leg amputation which to some people would be perceive as a horrifying experience but Viktoria saw this as a positive way to not only improve her health but her life.
"When I was born in Latvia, I was pulled out sideways twisting my leg and dislocating my hip. The Doctors then made a stupid mistake and put my leg in a plaster and left it on for too long, which killed the nerves and stunted the natural growth, resulting in my leg being 7cm shorter and much thinner by the age of 6."
"After that I had 9 major operations up until the age of 11, including 3 lengthening operations, and one operation when I even died! On the whole these operations were a series of terrible medical mistakes in Eastern European hospitals that made the problem worse, instead of better."
In 2006 Viktoria finally convinced her Surgeon that she was determined and knew amputation was what she wanted. Her only alternative would be years of more surgery, and the likely result of both knee and back problems in the future. Viktoria felt it was the best medical option and would finally enable her to walk and function a lot better.
"But as well as the physical the visual was also very important. I had always felt I had to hide my leg, and I have never been able to wear open or high heel shoes, or wear short skirts in the summer. This was also a massive thing for me."
It was this photograph pictured above that captivated me and drew my attention to Viktoria. The beauty, the strength and confidence Viktoria exudes in this photograph was what moved me to research her more and discover more about her and her story.
"I now feel more complete, more confident, and feel that I've taken away something that was wrong, not lost something healthy. I now feel natural and normal.I've also just found out that the NHS prosthetic legs are now as advanced as anywhere and I can get realistic colour matched legs, and a mix of flat and high heel legs, and even swimming and running legs. A whole wardrobe of legs! So I couldn't be happier and more excited. I'm dreaming of the shoes I can wear for the first time!" - Viktoria shortly after her amputation surgery
Viktoria's physicality has become well known for challenging the modern perception of altered beauty and beauty itself. Her beauty and unique features set her apart from her modelling counterparts but it's her character and and resilience that many will attribute to this beautiful women.
Just like many of the lovely women I feature on the site Viktoria is not just a pretty face. Viktoria has created an outstanding portfolio as alternative & fetish model and high couture model and has collaborated on fashion styling with the likes of British Ethical Fashion Designer Ada Zanditon for one and closed the show of Ziad Ghanem during London Fashion Week S/S 2010.
Viktoria has also had commercial modelling success with advertising campaigns with big players like Samsung and Penhaligon's and has also appeared in music videos for artists featuring Peaches and Satiricon.
And if that isn't enough to suffice your appetite for talent, Viktoria launched her music career in 2009 and was selected as one of the six best unsigned artists in the UK by the UK's Channel 4.
Vicktoria presence both in the underground fashion and music scenes continues to grow alongside her more mainstream visibility. Viktoria has become an icon, a pinup, a model, a muse and an inspiration too many. She is determined to make the most out of life and and make her dreams come true. Viktoria is relentless in her pursuit of life and maintains the fairytale is not over yet.
From that first time I saw the black and white shot of her in the bathroom, that image and her story have stuck with me. This girl is a force to be reckoned with and no amount of adversity can break her. Her confidence, strength and persistence and her sheer love for the passion of life alone ensure there is much more ahead for her in this lifetime.
Viktoria is a true testament that we can own who we are and make our lives our own.
You can lurk Viktoria below;