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Christy Dawn Peterson on Loving Yoga and Hating Heights

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Images via Christy Dawn Peterson
Images via Christy Dawn Peterson

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If you're a diehard fan of Nasty Gal and Reformation, chances are that you've seen Christy Dawn Peterson model your favorite pieces. A regular on both cult-cool retailer's e-shops and Instagram accounts, the LA-based yogi represented by Next Models is known for her enviable beach waves (like, they're just right), ethereal blue-green eyes and overall chill attitude.

We sat down with the latest addition to our favorite LA model club (Leore Hayon and Lauren Hastings are already members) to discover Peterson's best local haunts, biggest fears and upcoming projects (hint: a clothing line is involved.)

How did you get your start in modeling?
"I was 14 years old and a photographer stopped me at the mall and asked if she could photograph me. She was a glamour shots photographer! I was always told when I was young that I should be a model but I was such a tomboy that I always blew it off. Finally, I caved and let her take pics of me. I sent the pics into a modeling agency in San Francisco and they signed me on the spot! I booked a $5,000 job the next week and then thought modeling was the coolest job ever!"

What's your favorite campaign or lookbook to date?
"My favorite was the Nexxus Hair commercial and advertising campaign. They dyed my hair bleach blonde and I was transformed into a blonde sophisticated woman. It was definitely a process getting my hair that light but it was so fun to transform into this character that was so different from who I am. (Not to say I'm not sophisticated.) I had the most beautiful gowns on and the jewelry was insane. The set was so lovely and the crew was huge, too! I felt like all my hard work from over the years was finally paying off. I guess you could say my dreams were coming true, except that Orlando Bloom wasn't in the commercial with me."

What is the craziest shoot you've ever been on?
"I was shooting a lookbook in SF and we were in a building that was 35 stories high. We were shooting on the 23rd floor out on the balcony and the photographer asked if I would lay on the edge of the balcony. I'm terrified of heights, but I did it. I was trying to act like it was no big deal but it I was so scared! After that he wanted all the other looks to be on this damn ledge. Let's just say I conquered my fear of heights after that day."

Crazy! What do you dig most about being a model?
"First of all, I just want to say that I am so grateful to be able to get paid so well for something as simple as my appearance. I mean, thats just crazy! I love so many things about my job. I love that I get to travel and constantly meet creative, talented people. I always come home from work feeling so inspired by the people I work with. I love that every day I'm somewhere new and always stimulated. I love that I get to play dress-up and transform into a new character every shoot. The list goes on."

What do you like least?
"It can be a tough industry to work in. Given that the sole focus in the modeling world is your outer appearance, I see so many women and girls fall into this dark hole, starving themselves so that they can meet a standard that isn't healthy for most body types. I even catch myself looking at my body sometimes thinking 'my arms could be skinnier or I wish I had a six pack' and then I check in and remind myself that my body is beautiful just the way it is! I have been so thankful to not be hypnotized by all of this."

Do you have any secret talents?
"I am actually in the process of starting my own clothing line. That's a secret and a talent!"

What is your favorite LA hidden gem?
"My boyfriend showed me this secret hike up Rivas Canyon a few years ago and it's become my favorite place to take my dogs and meditate at the top of the hill. You don't feel like you're in LA when you're up there surrounded by all the beauty."

Last but not least, describe your perfect day in LA.
"Waking up around 9am wrapped in my boyfriends arms. We make a delicious smoothie then hop on our bikes and go to a yoga class. Drive to Malibu for a beach day and then have friends over at our house for a BBQ and game night."
· Christy Dawn Peterson [Instagram]
· Christy Dawn Peterson [Next Models]
· Leore Hayon Likes Girls, Forests and Franklin Village [Racked]
· Lauren Hastings on Spitting Fire and Her Secret Sushi Spot [Racked]