Nirvana Polonyi is the model student

Photo courtesy: Sofia Shappell


Photo courtesy: Sofia Shappell

CU Denver student Nirvana Polonyi, who is occupied by school and work, may seem like she is like the rest of the student body. However, Polonyi is a part time model, and has been featured in online and print publications like Cronic Magazine. She’s even been on a calendar.  

Polonyi was born and raised in Queens, New York before moving to Florida and residing there for several years. Living in big cities most of her life, Polonyi was used to the attitude and culture harbored in places like Miami and Tampa.“I feel like when you get to the bigger cities, everyone is pretentious and everybody’s concerned about what they have and who has the newest car,” Polonyi said. “Here, it’s not really like that.”

Polonyi first came to Denver a couple years ago for a friend’s wedding in Vail. As she drove through the Rocky Mountains and spent time in the city, she found herself falling in love with Colorado.

“I liked the vibe and the way it looked,” Polonyi said. “The day I got back, I broke up with my boyfriend, quit my job, dropped out of school, and moved here a week later.”

Compared to Miami and Queens, Polonyi thinks Denver is more laidback. “Denver is out doorsy, and there’s always stuff to do outside,” Polonyi said.

Even before moving to Denver, Polonyi enjoyed modeling and taking pictures of herself using a timer. After posting her pictures, photographers would reach out to her to model. However, for Polonyi, modeling was more of a creative outlet, and wasn’t looking to pursue a modeling career. “If something came from it, that would be cool,” Polonyi said. “But it’s not my main goal in life.”

Photo courtesy: Sofia Shappell

Although she hasn’t signed on to an agency, Polonyi is often contacted by different agencies. Ultimately, she turns them down for one of two reasons. “What happens is they get rights to your pictures and choosing what you do and don’t do,” Polonyi said. “I’d rather maintain control over what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and who I’m doing it with.”

Though she doesn’t travel too far for photo shoots, Polonyi’s favorite was when she traveled to Los Angeles with a friend, and had more creative freedom.

Polonyi is well aware of all the stereotypes and stigmas people have of models and modeling, including the common one that models are unintelligent.

“You’re narcissistic, all you care about are materialistic things,” Polonyi said. “I don’t think anyone’s said anything to me. I think it would be more based off of people’s reactions to when I start talking. Like, ‘Oh, you’re not this thing that I had pre-conceived notions about.’”

In terms of her future, Polonyi is pretty set on becoming a housewife, unless a modeling agency would accommodate her needs.

“I don’t see myself using my degree for much, to be honest,” Polonyi said. “I just want to be an educated housewife. I don’t enjoy working for other people, and I think my time would be better served lounging.”  

Dilkush Khan
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