MEET OUR LATEST ATHLETE / MODEL — SILVIA RIBEIRO
by Kristin Mayer·
Betty sets the record straight. Who is Silvia Ribeiro and is she a real athlete?!
At what age did you start modeling? What was your upbringing like? Did you like it or was it more of a "job" to you? Were you “discovered” or was this something that you sought out?
I started modeling really late at the age of 26. I know it sounds old to start a career, specially modeling but I was in a bus coming back from college and got scouted. At first I didn’t take the scout agent too seriously and was even a little scared with the approach but after a few months I was decluttering at home and found his business card. A friend of mine actually knew him and told me he was the real deal and a famous modeling scout so I decided to give it a shot. I called him and he booked visits to 3 modeling agencies in Sao Paulo, Brazil the following week. Sao Paulo is one of the biggest modeling markets in the world and very competitive so I didn’t have any high hopes. I ended up getting chosen for the board of the very first agency we visited to my surprise and after that there was no looking back.
Have you done any other types of work besides modeling?
Ahhh…so you are beautiful and you have brains. I assume that you have always “worked out” to keep your physique for modeling but when did you get the triathlon bug and what made you quit your professional career as a dentist, leave modeling for a while, and take a risk at becoming a professional triathlete?
Does your triathlon training regime get in the way of your modeling. I don’t mean time wise. I mean you actually have muscles. Does that limit your modeling? Does the modeling industry look at you sideways because you are not stick thin with no muscle tone?
Did the triathlon community welcome you with open arms or was it difficult to break into training groups because of the way you look?
The triathlon community is a super competitive environment just as modeling. The thing is that there’s a lot less money in the sport than in the fashion industry for the athletes so that’s a complicated thing. When I started approaching triathlon professionally all I did was using my background as a model and also the knowledge of promoting my image and also quite a few years of experience in some of the harshest markets you can find! I’ve also partnered with some amazing people like my agent Jim Garfield which was paramount. I have definitely had some people looking sideways, especially professional athletes. I think that it’s less personal and more the fact that a lot of them have been doing this for so long that maybe they couldn’t see or understand how much the market have changed. So many athletes have amazing sports feats but don’t really know how to capitalize on that or even how to promote themselves as role models to inspire others. Triathlon is a very tight bunch and if you find a way to reach out to that community it can be really faithful to you and the brands you’re promoting. But in my opinion some pro athletes are so stuck in the swim-bike-run aspect of the game that they forget that being a professional (in any area) requires a lot more than that in order for you to be truly successful.
The greatest thing about triathlon is that I can be doing it as a job but it’s still just as fun to get out there and swim, bike and run. So I’m always having a great time training or racing. The only downside to me (specially now in the SoCal summer) are the tan lines…ha!