Veronika Kašáková could easily become a target of envy. She is beautiful and successful. The Forbes Magazine listed her in its "30 under 30" ranking. This girl who’d grown up in a children's home made herself visible in the Czech Miss and today she’s the head of a foundation that helps other children living in children’s homes. Moreover, the beauty prided herself in having a handsome partner, who recently asked for her hand in marriage. But… Life has changed drastically for Veronika. And she suddenly doesn't know who and what she is. She spoke about her fears and plans for the future exclusively for Luxury Prague Life.
If it weren't for "your" children, you wouldn't be living here anymore, those were your words. Do you still have modeling offers from abroad and contacts that might theoretically take care of you?
It seems to me that the older I get, the more of it there is. It's a paradox because when I was eighteen, everyone was telling me "no". But I think it's no longer only about my body, what I look like. I dare say now it's more about what I appear to be like and what I do. That’s more pleasant for me because I can present myself as a person rather than being a "clothes hanger". I don't want to belittle it because I have a lot of friends doing it and presenting the product. But it is more pleasant for me to be out there as Veronika.
Would you reject any offers? Underwear, for example?
There are certain products that I really refuse, and I am very grateful that I don’t have to accept every work offer out of existential reasons. I’m at a point where I can decide I'm not going to advertise something I wouldn’t use myself. I get to choose and at the same time I have a very high fee. I don't care if I’ll walk at the show or not. I always make them great demands thinking it will either work out or not. And usually it does work out. I’m glad that even here the price is high, and at the same time I can already say "no", which I’ve also tried to learn how for a long time. One would like to be nice all the time, but it’s not possible.
In my mind, you’re a very nice person. Can you be mean, too?
Not mean, I wouldn't call it that way. It’s more about the truth. That you stop confusing the meaning of "being grateful" and "being indebted", and quit serving others. It’s very intense this year, my "no, thank you, don't be mad at me, but I'm not interested". I can honestly say that up until this year, I felt, and maybe you'll agree with me here, that the public perceived me as a girl from a children's home, which was not to be picked on, because she’s been through a lot. She might be skilled, because she thinks of children, she's a good person. There was a lot of pity.
Since I started to turn down offers and stopped explaining why, people no longer perceive me as the poor thing from a children's home. I also feel some disapproval and displeasure, and that's new to me, so it made me surprised and sad from time to time. Suddenly, Veronika is ungrateful, how does she dare, why isn’t she crawling in front of us. This year I keep saying "no", I have the luxury of daring to refuse.
You haven't turned thirty yet?
I will this year. That's why I'm telling you it's a kind of transformation. I feel like I'm turning from that little girl into a woman. For the longest time, I wanted for everyone to like me.
But everyone does like you!
Like, yeah, but I don't care so much anymore. When you really, really want something, and then you try your hardest to be what they want you to be, you’re suppressing your true self. A paradoxical example is a situation where someone gives you a dress and does your make-up, all the while claiming that you look beautiful and that they’re doing it for free. So you go like, alright, I'll wear it, but you feel terrible in it. Now I say "no, please don’t be mad, but I have my own services that I trust". Then the people are all weirded out that the girl from a children’s home refused their stuff!
What about your personal life, is it transforming too?
It's actually all connected, my work, my personal life - in every way. Not only the children, but also modeling or working on my second book, I have a lot of lectures in schools now, but also in the Endowment Fund. I decided I would surround myself only with fine people. In the end, there were friends among them, too, but even so, we still sometimes suffer when they take from us more than they give back. So I decided to kick a few people out of my life. Those people have been there for a long time and I think it was for a reason, because up until a certain moment, before they left, I had something in common with them. And suddenly I admitted to myself that this or that person was draining me out of energy, suffocating me, and suddenly it went fast. Despite the tremendous pain... Now I'm not talking entirely about private life though, but about colleagues.
But I know where you‘re going with this question and why you’re asking, because I used to like presenting my personal life and my great love in public. And now it's dampened down. You're probably the first person I decided to talk about it with, at least to some extent, but I'm not going to be very specific anyway, because I can't just yet.
The situation at home is like, we got engaged. The transformation that came in January happened on the basis of something. We have postponed the wedding, saying that if it does happen one day, it will be genuine in both good and bad. At this point, it's more about me than about the other, because I decided to start doing things I used to be very afraid of in my life, and leaving the country and learning to stand on my own two feet is a part of that. Before, I would often feel that even though I’d been in a children's home, there was always a group of people standing behind me, or an organization looking after me. Be it the children’s home, or later in the Miss contest, where there was a certain management, then Milan, who was helping me with everything.
Some time in January I found out that I was frightened of being alone, because I’ve been in relationships or living with roommates since I was fourteen. But who is this Veronika on her own, when all she’s done before was internalize the truths of all the more experienced, motivating people around her? So I took all the money I had been saving for the wedding, I bought a plane ticket and paid for education in Hawaii. I decided that I didn’t want any Czech people with me, not even a friend, that I would go alone so as to find out what kind of company I am.
When are you leaving?
At the end of June. I was telling myself I was so scared of it that I had to go through with it, I just had to. So that I could learn to take care of myself.
You’re going to be learning English there?
That’s awesome! So you’ve undergone such a transformation in January... And here I was thinking something had happened between the two of you.
Something did happen, and this is what came out of it.
So you realized all this on the basis of some sort of argument?
I ‘d like to add one more thing. I am extremely dependent not only on people in general, but also on the man. Us women, and I am not the only one, have this sense of ownership. If you're happy, I'll be happy too. That was like a belief for me, an idea that prevented me from being different out of my own free will, or accepting different truths. I almost collapsed mentally. I thought, "alright, now we're going to tear it all down and I'll slowly rebuild it." That means at least a year, to build your whole core anew.
I’ve read in a book, even talked about it with a child psychologist, that once a child is born, he or she accepts the truths of their motivational idols. So I told myself, "damn, I’ve probably never had very good motivational idols, not even as a child". At first I came into a negative environment, then I was in a children's home. I got overwhelmed by it all and now I wonder who I would be if circumstances were different, if it never happened...
I was telling myself - sometimes the idea of being without you is more painful to me than the one of forgiveness and continuation, but you still have some influence on me, because it’s you and me, because we are together, because we are close. If I leave, it will fix itself somehow, and either we’ll make it or we won’t. I was already away for the last 14 days, he's leaving for 14 days now. And we won’t see each other before August.
So you have a common household, but you’re not living there together at the moment?
How does he feel about this decision of yours?
If there’s something I can say about him with certainty, it’s that he is a very good person. What’s inside him, his core, that’s something I still admire and love deeply. When you have a relationship, there are several layers to it. Whether it is love, friendship... We’re raising his daughter together, we work together, we travel, we have experienced Indonesia together, long months spent in each other’s company. Then, if one layer goes wrong, you naturally wonder if you should throw all of them away.
So you have an open relationship until August?
I wouldn't call in an open relationship, not in the way where we’d be seeing other women and men, not entirely. Because if something is still there, it’s the love.
I’m trying to follow my heart a lot because the ego is often very loud in our lives. All the movies, friends, thousands of people who tell you what they think and what you should do. I've already started to lose myself in it. In January, I left for a week and I was able to distinguish the two voices in me, one being pure love that doesn’t judge, and then the ego. On top of all, I’m a Scorpio, I thought I was going to fall apart into a thousand pieces. Then I thought, "No, this is just something you’ve picked up based on all your life experiences and generations of your family, it isn’t you, you don't want to be like that".
It's not like I wanted to suppress my emotions. On the contrary, I was very calm, which is interesting because tend to be quite explosive. Rather, it was a feeling like your heart was going break.
Now it's June, so I believe you've got it figured out to some extent.
I do, I'm doing much better.
And so far it is not clear whether you’ll get married or not...
Yes, I’m still uncertain about that.
Everything has yet to turn out somehow, including the fate of your relationship.
Guess what I dare to answer this year? “I don't know.” I don't know, but I believe it will turn out well in every respect.
Not getting married could also be a good outcome though…
I think so too, but he still has my heart.
When will the book be out?
I have to finish writing it in Hawaii, it will be out by next September.
And what will it be about?
About all this.