Playmate of the Year

with Melisa Gun / @drmelisagunn

Photography by Chris Martin / @bychrismartin

Creative Director Aria Garcia / @Fashionsinstorage 

Production Influence Effect / @theinfluenceeffect

Snake Justin Thompson / @theblackivory_ 

Makeup David Rodriguez / @drodbeauty

Hair Reagan Link – @reaganlinkartistry 

Designer Aria Garcia / @AREGA_US

Welcome Melisa and thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from, some of your interests and what your career journey has been like up until this point? Hello! Let’s start in order. I was born in the beautiful city of Kusadasi on the Aegean coast (Turkey). Immediately after school, I graduated from the University of Aegean (physiotherapy). Then I entered the Faculty of Medicine at Istanbul Medipol University in Istanbul. To become both a neurosurgeon and a model, I had to combine one with the other. If I smoothly move on to my interests, it’s equestrian sports, fitness, practical shooting, winter swimming, surfing, playing the piano and saxophone, rafting, chess, and also, I like to jump with a parachute. I was so active from early childhood, so as a teenager I became a master of sports in running, 200 to 400 meters with barriers.

Congrats on your recent Miss New York United Nations 2021 win. What would you say were some of the highlights and what are you hoping to achieve during your time as queen? After winning the Miss Manhattan contest, I started to prepare for the next, no less important project with all my strength. I really liked the jury’s approach to a fair system of judging contestants. And, having received the crown I made sure that a girl from Turkey also had a chance to win in such a large-scale beauty pageant as Miss New York UN 2021. I believe that beauty will save the world. And I pursue the goal to show many girls by my example that they don’t have to be afraid to express themselves, love themselves, and participate in beauty contests like this.

You’re obviously very attractive Melisa, would you say being beautiful can sometimes overshadow or perhaps distract the audience from your work as a model? Of course, a pretty girl in modeling always stands out. A striking appearance can attract an audience. Beyond that, you must not be capricious but hardworking, with character and work at maximum efficiency as there will always be someone who will be prettier and smarter than you are. And no one has canceled the constant work on oneself. But if we are talking about personal life, then it also happens that a beautiful appearance interferes, because most worthy men are just afraid of strong and beautiful girls.

If you could collaborate with any celebrity in the world, who would it be and why? It would be Kim Kardashian. She has a bright appearance and a strong character. Her figure is far from the model parameters, but it did not prevent her from becoming one of the richest women and a popular model. I have been following her life for a long time, even at a time when she was denied cooperation by a lot of eminent magazines. What I like about her is that she did not stop and took a steady step towards her goal. She also came into the modeling business «late» as I did. But now she flashes on almost all covers, and her success admires many of the female gender. Kim is one of the richest women in the world, and I also strive for that. By the way, in some ways we are similar. (smiling).          

Awesome pageant wins and magazine covers aside, you’ve achieved so much so quickly which has a lot of us wondering, what’s your secret to success Melisa? In general, I am a very lucky person in life! I am lucky that I can quickly connect with people at work, meet the right and talented people at the right time. And yes, there are no secrets, there are only three simple words: work, work and work again. Besides, you have to be a little talented and remember to remain a positive person. Then you will definitely succeed.

Looking good is great but it takes more than just looks to get ahead. For all those aspiring girls that look up to you, what tips would you give to help them break into the industry? We each have our own path, and what has worked for me may not necessarily help you. But what I’m going to say for sure is that you have to be different in something. That being said, don’t try to be someone, individuality will always be appreciated. You need to find this in yourself and keep your principles close, not to change, not to give in to fashion (lips or a small nose). For my part, I can only wish one thing: if you really have a desire to get into the modeling business, then start with at least the minimum. Get your body and skin in order, sensibly assess your height and parameters and take up nutrition. After this stage, you can go to a modeling school without doubt or start cooperating with a clothing brand on Instagram, for instance.

Speaking of good looks, you’re Instagram @drmelisagunn is absolutely amazing by the way. Your look and style is so versatile, where do you get your creative inspiration? Each of us is inspired by different things, but, like everyone else, I have my own classic set: playing sports, traveling, communicating with loved ones. And the important thing is that I don’t live by work. Yes, I can be a lioness and a beauty with cheeky makeup but I am truly inspired by other things. I enjoy extreme sports, nature, loved ones, gaining new knowledge. Also, I will always prefer a face without makeup and comfortable clothes (and not necessarily something designer).

On the topic of Insta, are DMs and approaching women on social media an acceptable way to find a date these days, or nah? Asking for a friend…  It happens differently. But I don’t think of Instagram as a good way for someone to write, let alone make a date. And the men I’m interested in aren’t on social media because they don’t have time to scroll through the tape, and even more so to look for a woman there. For me, Instagram is more as a way of communication with my followers, to tell and show them what changes have taken place in my life, nothing more.

In a new relationship, what do you prefer, a sensitive man that goes at your pace or a go-getter that takes the initiative to make things happen? I’ll choose the second option, I do not like sweet boys, they are children for me. I can only like a real man. And in my understanding, a real man has to be proactive, strong, and if necessary, he will find my phone number or any other way to get to know each other. Since I am a non-standard woman, he can be a little crazy, love extreme and jump out of airplanes with me. Gifts and flowers are obligatory, only such an exclusive approach and attention can make me fall in love with him. After all, we women deserve the best. I need a crown not only in beauty pageants but also in relationships. I must be the queen for my man. But no one has canceled the little girl in me, who can also be with a worthy partner only if the attitude towards me is appropriate.

What are the worst and best pickup lines you’ve heard lately? I’m not one of the girls who listen and take to heart someone’s statements, especially if they are negative. I have my own circle of people I love who make me feel positive. That’s why I don’t give up on negative comments.

We love the volleyball look on Instagram where you’re wearing white on the beach, gosh, so hot and playful. Could you tell us about some of your favorite shoots, looks and locations? I have a pleasant aftertaste. At the same time, I ended up being naive and super sexy. In general, I adore all the shoots that take place with my beloved friend Olga Novikova. Everything happens easily and naturally. I’ve always liked this tandem in the photo: when I’m a socialite, but at the same time, I am a cute girl. As a rule, filmed material immediately arouses my delight and surprise, because it completely reveals new facets of my image.

As a successful model traveling comes with the territory. What are some of the best places you’ve got to visit during your career? Travelling is always something interesting: meeting new people, culture, cuisine, and sights. I have already visited many parts of the world: Cyprus, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, America, Dubai, Saudi Arabia. I am planning to visit Antarctica, Australia, Africa (I love wild animals very much). My main goal is to travel the whole world with my son and the man I love. 

Are you working on any new and exciting projects at the moment and where can our readers find out more? Yes, I have a lot of new projects now, so my schedule is not normalized and quite active. By the way, I will share the news with you – just recently I started promoting my site. I guarantee it will be something interesting!

Thank you again Melisa for spending time with us. Do you have any last words to share and where can we follow your adventures on social media or online? And thank you for the interview very much! I post most of my photos on Instagram. I shoot stories and share all the latest covers and interviews there. If you are subscribed to my account, then you’ve already known almost everything about me (smiling).