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On the horizon, recent tragedies have left our world in turmoil, so much so that many of us have put an important holiday that celebrates women all over the world on the backburner. International Women’s Day is about celebrating all the incredible women around the world, and finding unity in the mutual respect we share for the female gender; no matter what country you live in. If you have chosen to turn a blind eye to this holiday amidst the chaos, I urge you to turn the negativity of the news off, take a deep breath, and read on, for there is a silver lining to come.
For the spiritual readers out there who believe the universe sends us signs just when the time is right, we would like you to meet our silver lining and spotlight female, Victoria Jancke. Like a shooting star, Jancke made a permanent move from Berlin to Los Angeles this past weekend, and coincidentally, she was right on time for the holiday. Thank you for that, universe.
Victoria is a German actress, model and presenter, but before you get skeptical, know that her fame and beauty are not what sparked our intrigue in this woman. Though she does acquire both of these traits, she is not defined by them. She is defined by her authentic soul, strength and the challenges that shaped her into a woman who knows exactly who she is, and what wants out of life. A woman who embodies clarity in a world of disarray, and a role model we all need right now.
Growing up in Berlin, Victoria has been no stranger to the tragedies of life, with the most recent events being no exception. Despite it all, she continues to persevere towards her dreams with confidence and strength, encouraging others to do so as well.
“This invasion of Ukraine was very personal to me, and I considered staying in Berlin out of fear and guilt. My father urged me not to cancel my move to Los Angeles, because that would mean I was giving up on my dream because of something terrible a dictator did that was out of my control, and I would just be giving them what they wanted; a world where people live in fear.”
Victoria also realized that not choosing to let the events in Europe determine her future could set an example for the public eye. This example would hopefully inspire her fans not to put their dreams on hold and live as beings of fear due to corrupt government decisions.
While she currently works towards her dreams of being on the silver screen, Victoria remains active in multiple organizations to help the victims of this catastrophe, and uses her social media platforms to remind others that they have the power to do both as well. German or American, Victoria is far from your typical public figure. Her energetic and open energy contrasts with the common German stereotype of being more reserved. Regardless of what anyone has to say about it, she remains unapologetically herself.
“Many of my friends like to joke that I am so talkative and friendly, I might as well be an American. For me, I am simply someone who’s heart will always be in both countries. If someone asks me where I’m from, I like to say I’m a child of the world. I want to spend my life teaching others to see the world this way too, to see people from other countries the way they see themselves; color and culture blind,” said Jancke,
Throughout her career, Jancke has not lived your typical fairytale of fame and fortune. She began her career in modeling at the age of sixteen, a milestone most adolescent girls would only dream of. However, it wasn’t long until the glitz and glamour of the industry began to fade and she was subjected to a darker side, one that made her question if this lifestyle was the right one for her.
“I developed an eating disorder to become what the industry would define as a perfect prospect, and it only became worse when I was rejected from roles. Eventually, I was pulled aside by some friends who gave me an intervention. They told me I wasn’t the same person anymore. After this talk, I realized how truly unhappy I had become trying to be what society wanted, and that I had lost myself,” said Jancke.
Victoria’s intervention helped her to face and overcome her eating disorder, and she continued pursuing her dreams with a new attitude; knowing that as long as she loved herself for who she was and she owned that, nothing else mattered.
“I am so fortunate for my loved ones who helped me come to this realization, they shaped me into who I am today. Today, I know when people work with me, they work with me for ME, not for my measurements,” said Jancke.
Following this drastic change to a healthier lifestyle, Victoria developed a newfound beauty that exuded from within, and with that her career success began to skyrocket. It wasn’t long before Victoria became an icon in Europe, and she once more used that publicity to good by the world. Victoria began to speak openly about overcoming her eating disorder on her public platforms in an attempt to break the cycle so many like herself are constantly subjected to.
“I was lucky enough to have loved ones that made me face my internal issues, but I know not everyone is this fortunate. I see my younger self in so many people who are suffering from the standards of the industry, and I want to advise them to stop letting the rejections of roles or pushbacks make them feel like they aren’t worthy,” said Jancke.
Victoria recites a pep talk she gives herself and others when she senses they are in a position like this:
“Some people think roses are the most beautiful flowers, others prefer sunflowers. No matter which one you are, you always will be beautiful if you own it. And when you come across setbacks, that just means you were trying to grow in an environment that wasn’t made for you- so keep your head towards the sunshine, no petals wilted; and you will eventually flourish.”
While she demonstrates an impeccable amount of strength and wisdom, Victoria has faced far more than just one obstacle in her career. One of her most traumatizing experiences is sadly all too common among females around the world.
“When I was 17, and just getting past my eating disorder, I was raped against my will. Even though it wasn’t my fault; I felt too much shame and embarrassment, and I didn’t want to be labeled as a victim, so I kept it to myself for years and it festered inside of me like poison. It took me years to finally come forward and speak about it in the public eye, but when I finally did; I felt like it set me free.”
Knowing there are many other women out there who have been or are currently being abused, Victoria attempted to rebrand the stigma that has scarred her and so many other women. She utilized her prominence to speak openly about what happened to her, inspiring others to tell their stories as well.
“I wanted every person who had been through what I had to have the courage to come forward as well. Rape is the type of thing that is instilled by fear and power, and the more you own that you endured it and still managed to survive, the less power you give it. I want the other people who have experienced what I have to think of themselves as survivors, not victims,” said Jancke.
Jancke’s belief that the truth will set you free; especially when it comes to the hardest matters of life is just one penchant to her authentic and strong character. When she finally came forward with her story, she echoed a message of encouragement to victims all over the world.
“We won’t always be able to control traumatic events like rape from happening to ourselves and our loved ones, but we can control our reactions to them. We can choose to channel strength and bravery when the time arrives over defeat and fear, and teach our children to do the same,” said Jancke.
The hurdle’s in Victoria’s life have led her to a highly philanthropic role as a public figure. She is currently the Charity Ambassador of The Weisser Ring Organization, working avidly to help victims of crime such as rape and abuse. On her website, you can find her masses of philanthropic endeavors, and visualize the charitable footprint she has made on our world.
For those of you who were skeptical to see a seemingly privileged model being chosen as a spotlight for celebration, I hope that you have found more than one piece of enlightenment in Victoria’s story. On a day when we celebrate all females, we must remind ourselves that celebration is not always done in vain, but rather; there to shed light on the fact that no matter who we are, we all have something to celebrate in ourselves. Like Victoria, we all have the ability to flourish.
On this day, when you encounter any female; think of them as a soul with a story to be celebrated, instead of a face to be judged. Maybe they’re a model or actress like Victoria. Maybe they’re a survivor of abuse like Victoria. Maybe they’re plagued with an eating disorder, struggling to feel like they’ll ever be good enough- like Victoria.
Hopefully, they haven’t let society define them, and they love themselves for exactly who they know they are, like Victoria. Like Victoria, every woman has a story- choose to see the soul first. As Victoria would say, we must learn to be “culture and color blind, to see ourselves in others,” and in this way, we are all united.
AUTHOR: CLARE KEHOE