Place of Birth: Puerto Rico
Agencies: New York - Next, Paris - Marilyn, Milan - Riccardo Gay, London - Storm
Height: (cm) 174 (ft/in) 5' 8½".
Bust-Waist-Hips: (cm) 86-58-88 (in) 34-23-34½.
“I prefer to wear nothing when sunbathing,”
Even when rain and lightning cancel a planned day at the beach, sun-worshiping model Astrid Munoz can’t help but heat up the indoor atmosphere of a bungalow hideaway by several degrees. Such mercury-elevating ability is probably due to all the tropical rays she braved while growing up in her native San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“I love everything about Puerto Rico,” Astrid says. “When I’m not there I miss the food, especially the rice and beans. And the music is great — everybody has an amazing sense of rhythm. The people are really nice too — always very open and friendly — I think partly because the weather stays warm.”
Even so, Astrid began dreaming of a different life beyond her lush island home at an early age. “I wanted to model since I was very little,” she remembers. “I would look at the photos in fashion magazines and envision myself wearing all those beautiful dresses I saw. Then when I was 14, I was offered an opportunity to model in Spain. I started packing my bags right away, but my mother was, like, ‘Over my dead body.’”
Joining the parental anti-modeling brigade was her father, a nuclear engineer. “He’s not a nerd or anything,” Astrid says, “but, I mean, he does really like to talk about physics. We had a very strict family — lots of rules. I didn’t have to attend an all-girls school, but I had too many chaperones to go to any parties.” When asked if she feels any guilt over leaving her younger brother and sister behind to face such harsh conditions, Astrid laughs. “Are you kidding? It’s not nearly as bad for them, since they weren’t the first child. I couldn’t even have a telephone in my room, but now when I go back, they both have telephones, cars, everything.”
So if the local boys couldn’t ask her to dance at a party or ring her up, did they come knocking on her door? “Actually, I was too skinny for the Latin guys,” she says. “They said my legs were scrawny. When I went to the beach, I mostly hung out with the surfer boys from other countries. They seemed to like me more. I learned how to ride a boogie board from them, but mostly I just worked on my tan.”
While visiting a friend in Miami, Astrid, then 19, met yet another modeling agent, who immediately suggested that she pursue a career in France. This time she didn’t let anything stand in the way of her dream. “I was one of the first Latin models to break through in Paris,” she says proudly. After working primarily in Europe for several years, Astrid relocated to New York about a year ago.
Many high-fashion campaigns have followed, but Astrid seems to be able to make room in her busy schedule for the occasional swimsuit shoot. “I was doing a swimsuit layout for an Australian fashion magazine, and they stuck me on icebergs in Iceland for two days,” she says, shivering merely at the memory. “I mean, I’m Puerto Rican, hot-blooded — I nearly froze to death. They didn’t even tell me I’d be shooting outside, much less wearing nothing but swimsuits the whole time. When I don’t have fun on a shoot, I don’t even want to see the pictures — even if they’re amazing.”
Astrid is decidedly more enthusiastic about warmer climates, whether she’s visiting them for business or purely for pleasure. “If I know I’m going to the beach, I’m already happy and more relaxed,” she says. “I just like to lie around and do nothing on the beach. I’m always working on my tan, so it’s three minutes here and three minutes there. I love meditating and stretching on the beach at sunset.”
That must be quite a sight, considering Astrid’s intriguing choice of beachwear. “I prefer to wear nothing when sunbathing,” she shrugs. “No tan lines. Maybe I’ll have a G-string tan line, but that’s it. I prefer to wear those tiny Brazilian bikinis — I have every color and fabric in my closet.” This admirable spirit of beach minimalism extends to Astrid’s list of shipwreck essentials: “All I would need is a bottle of Evian, the man of my dreams, and my Siamese cat. He actually loves the beach. I walk him in the sand with a leash.”
A cat on a leash at the beach? Sounds like a recipe for shark bait to us. “I grew up on an island, so sharks and snakes are my worst nightmares,” Astrid shudders. “I’m think I’m getting over snakes now, but sharks will always terrify me. As soon as I get into deep water, I start hearing that Jaws music — da-dun, da-dun, da-dun.”
Astrid Munoz Nude: