School: Arizona State University
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: Film and Media
In 2011, Gina Vaia took a trip to Miami, not only did she meet a great guy, but she was also discovered by a New York modeling agency right in the hotel lobby. How crazy is that?
Photos: Stark Fashion Photo
Why did you want to be a 12 girl?
Why do I want to be a 12 girl? Why not? I get to meet eleven random girls that I will probably end up becoming friends with for the rest of my life. It’s our own sorority, really. I really enjoy meeting new people, especially when a few of them ending up being super similar to me! There are a few people that wish to keep to themselves and huddle up in the same group of friends they’ve had since middle school. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just love networking and enjoy listening to somebody else’s stories than my own. That’s another reason why I want to be a 12- the networking with not only people, but places. Our first event was held at El Hefe. It was one of the craziest places I have ever seen on a Sunday afternoon! There were so many people and I had such a great time! I could definitely surround myself with hundreds of bodies at events. It’s exciting.
What do you want to be when you grow up/ How will being a 12 help?
Someday I want to stand in front of camera. Whether I’m “struttin” my stuff as a Victoria Secret Angel or broadcasting on E news, being a 12 girl will boost my confidence and my ability to be comfortable around people and the media. I’ve wanted to do Victoria Secret since I was maybe 16. Every year during the shows, I will separate myself from everybody else and study Ms. Lima. I get phone calls and texts during the yearly shows- I have amazing supporters and it keeps me motivated! I have been modeling since I was 10. My first job was a Plunkett Furniture commercial (haha). I also FELL IN LOVE with watching Guiliana Rancic on E news. I think it is super cool to host the red carpet events, royal weddings, and Fashion Police. I could definitely see myself as TV host 100%.
Tell us something about you that people wouldn’t expect from just looking at you?
I eat. A LOT. And 90% of it is fast food. My addiction began as a junior in high school. For lunch and dinner I go to two different places. Mostly Panera Bread, which is similar to Paradise Bakery in Arizona. Last year as a Freshman here, I became obsessed with Einsteins Bagels, so instead of my healthy Special K cereal, I would grab a bagel and cream cheese J You’re probably wondering why I don’t gain any weight? Well, as a child, I played basketball for 8 years, 3 of the years was volleyball included. My metabolism is really fast, although…. One day it is going to slow down! I definitely still am at the gym at least 3-4 times a week. I want to make sure I can still eat whatever I want. In middle school I played on my driveway with my dad every day, shooting hoop after hoop. It was intense and took up a lot of my time. I played on a Feeder team, which is designed for more serious players. And then when I was 16 I played on a National volleyball team. I stopped playing sports at the end of high school. I definitely miss it!
What’s your major and how did you decide on that?
I am currently studying Film and Media. I will eventually transfer to the WalterCronkiteSchool so I can specifically study the arts of Broadcasting and TV hosting. I fell in love with E News TV hostess Giuliana Rancic. Since then I started watching her performance on the red carpets and special events, I knew I wanted to do just that.
Best trip you have ever taken?
Halloween of 2011, I went to Miami, Florida with my best friend. We stayed that weekend at the W hotel right on South beach. The vacation alone was absolutely breath taking, but on top of that, I was discovered by a New York modeling agency right in my hotel lobby. During the vacation, we ran into a family. We instantly clicked and we hung out with them by the pool for two of the days. There were 3 boys around our age that we ended up meeting out with them during the night events. I still talk to a few of them. Hopefully we can all make it to Miami soon for round 2!
How have things changed since you’ve become a 12?
My body has definitely changed. It’s important to eat healthy and work out to stay in good shape for the upcoming events and the calendar shoot. Goodbye fast food addiction for a while! I like this lifestyle better because not only do I look better, but I feel better. I have a lot more energy!
Favorite college memory?
My favorite college memory was the Vista Del Sol pool party in the beginning of the year. I had never been to a pool event that big and that crazy. It was a great introduction for my year as a freshman to say the least.
What do you look for in a guy?
The VERY first thing I look for in a guy is the way he carries himself. I can pretty much automatically get an idea whether he is a good guy or a complete jerk. I definitely don’t want to be hanging around somebody that thinks they’re a hot shot. I have actually been told I tend to lean towards the nerds. The second but most IMPORTANT think I look for in a guy is his nationality. I absolutely must marry an Italian. And no, I’m not talking about the gorilla juiceheads. I look for an authentic Italian that can usually speak some of the language! SO HOT! I also look at a man’s education. There is nothing more attractive than a man with a good education and a good career.
Tell us about your best and worst date?
The best date I ever went on was with a boyfriend back in summer 2011. It was our first date, and he took me out to a beautiful Italian restaurant and followed by the dinner, he was my date to my best friend’s uncles wedding. I definitely think that good dates depend on the person you are with and not necessarily where the date takes place.
The absolute worst date I ever went out was watching movies at his place and later in the night seeing a “Just Married” sign hung up in his kitchen, priceless.
Why did you decide on ASU?
I started to look into ASU because my older brother was a student there while I was in high school. I went to visit him and absolutely fell in love with it. It is definitely one of the most beautiful college campus’s I have ever seen. I am so glad I ended up applying to ASU. I love it now and I wouldn’t transfer to any other college. I can definitely see myself here for the next 3 years.
Tell us about where you grew up?
I grew up in a small town just 40 minutes outside of Chicago. I was born in a North-West town, Glen Ellyn. I lived there for a little while, but at 2 years old, my parents split. My parents lived in two different towns just about 15 minutes away. I went back and forth all the time with my older brother and little sister.
What’s one item you can’t live without and why?
One item I can’t live without is my iPhone. I am obsessed with it and I treat it as if it were my baby. My first cell phone was in 6th grade and ever since my first T-Mobile Sidekick; I have been addicted to texting. If I didn’t have the unlimited plan, I would be screwed!