Maika Monroe is a rising Real Beauty, not only as an up and coming professional kiteboarder but also both as a philanthropist and an actress as well. This multi-talented teen first learned to kiteboard with her Dad in California at the age of 13, moved to Cabarete in the Dominican Republic to kiteboard train at the age of 17 and, this spring, stars in her first movie opposite Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid in the Untitled Ramin Bahrani Project – all while maintaining a 4.2 GPA in High School. As if that were’nt enough, Maika is already giving back too. Inspired by the children in Cabarete who run along the water’s edge while she trains, Maika has designed her own fashion-forward active wear line for Airbound Apparel, a kiteboarding lifestyle company based in Cabarete, with a portion of proceeds benefiting local children’s charities.

Maika Monroe: On Real Beauty

I think beauty is…  I hate to sound cliché, but it is what’s inside. I have met the nerdiest guys that are so hot because of their personalities – and, too often, the reverse, where a guy is gorgeous but, after 5 minutes of conversation, he is not hot at all.

I feel most beautiful when… well, I have two very opposite lives. One I am a professional athlete, so I feel beautiful being on the beach, no make-up doing a sport I love. At the same time, I love to get super dressed up and go out.

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I deal with the pressure for body “perfection” in the media by… I just turned 18, and for the first time I have to watch my weight. Not like an obsessive thing, but I have to think (when I have never had to before) do I really want to eat that?  Mostly it’s sweets. But I am what I am and sure I want to have the perfect body, but I am not going to lose sleep over it. I am super comfortable with who I am.

Being an athlete makes me feel… different. I love being an athlete. It is such a different world than acting. In acting, a lot of times it is a lucky break or you are born into a family that is in the business. An athlete, you are disciplined, have to constantly train and prove that you are the best. Two very opposite worlds. As an athlete, it doesn’t matter whose daughter I am, if I can’t kite, I can’t kite. It’s all about skill.

My body is… sacred. I really watch what I eat, I exercise and I am straight edge, meaning I don’t do drugs or drink.

My 3 cannot-live-without-them beauty products are… Neutrogena sunscreen, waterproof mascara and Gone Island lip balm. I am always putting lip balm on because I get so dried out in ocean. I have tried everything. This is one I swear by and totally natural.

Before a competition, I always… listen to music. When I need to be super amped up and focused music gets me going.  I will listen to music and tune everything else out.

The women I most admire are…  self made, strong and not your typical female. I admire women that are independent and beat to a different drummer. So many girls I meet are trying too hard to fit in and be accepted.

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If I could give young women a piece of advice, it would be… don’t drink, don’t do drugs. I can’t tell you all the idiot things I have seen my friends do when they are drunk or high. I feel so embarrassed for them!

My dreams for the future are… Along with acting and kiteboarding, I am designing a line of clothing for Airbound Apparel. We are a new, start up company but we do a lot of cool things, like in the Dominican Republic where I train for kiteboarding, we help kids get kiting equipment and we help with education. I always feel like whatever I do, I need to be giving back, which is why I love my work with Airbound Apparel.

The one lesson I try to remind myself of is to… stay disciplined and focused in reaching my goals.

I wish more women would… not get stupid drunk.

I wish I could… adopt 1,000 kids from the Dominican Republic.

My favorite body part of mine is… my eyelashes.

I hate my… tendonitis in my elbow. It is painful when I am training for competitions.

The one style tip I swear by is… less is more.  Not a lot of make-up, the more natural the better.

In the next year I hope to… ha, where would I begin. I am a goal setter. In the next year, I want to expand my Airbound clothing line. I love fashion, I love to design and create. I want to devote more time to Airbound Apparel and get a cool line of clothing out for girls.

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Photography credit: Teren Oddo


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