When it comes to finding beautiful women from exotic locales, there is no place like Los Angeles. Case in point: La Reina Shaw, an exotic stunner from Azerbaijan, a country seated at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Asia. La Reina—model, fitness star, actress, and entrepreneur — came to L.A. to live out her dream. Her killer curves and mysterious smile makes us want to know more.
Dr. Cat Begovic: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. What was it like growing up? When did you move to the States?
La Reina Shaw: I was born in the Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. I moved to Germany when I was five and grew up there. I moved to the States when I was 20 to go to college. Since I was a child, I’d always wanted to move to the U.S. My grandfather was a world traveler and always told me how beautiful places were in the States, and I always imagined what it would be like to live there. I think I inherited my travel gene from my grandfather. I love to see different cultures, different cuisines, and I feel that traveling makes me very open-minded to people of different religions and all walks of life.
I grew up very open-minded, especially when it came to showing one’s body. Growing up, my grandfather had a big property on the beach and everyone was always running around in bikinis and enjoying the water. In Germany, we were always by the lake on weekends and everyone was very free, even naked. I was raised to think that loving your body and feeling free was natural and not a big deal.
CB: You have a very exotic look and a beautiful shape! I know Brazil gets all the hype when it comes to curvy women, but should we pay more attention to Azerbaijani women?
LS: I’m a mix. My grandmother is Armenian, and the rest of my family is Azerbaijani. I don’t know if women from Azerbaijan are known for being curvy [laughs]. My grandmother and three of her sisters have table-top booties, so I guess I got it from them!
CB: How did you get involved in fitness?
LS: I started working out a few years ago and became really passionate about it. It was exciting to see the changes in my body as I put work into it. About a year and a half ago I was approached by Dexter Jackson who asked me to join Team Blade. That was the starting point for everything. I competed in my first show four months later. The more I got into it I realized how much I loved it. It’s an amazing feeling when you work hard and see the results.
CB: How did you get into acting, and is that something you’re passionate about?
LS: I’ve always wanted to be an actress. When I moved to L.A., I met with a few agencies that picked me up right away. I’m now actively trying to get into the film and commercial world. I’m taking a bunch of classes and have been working hard to develop this.
CB: I see your name on various hip-hop sites. Have you been featured in any music videos?
LS: I’ve only done two music videos—one was Sam Smith “Money On My Mind,” and another was for a Mexican artist. I’ve gotten a lot of offers to do music videos, but I’ve turned them down.
CB: You have a fitness and training website as well as the clothing company Reign. How did each of those come about?
LS: I started my fitness and training website a few months ago. When I was working with Team Blade and training for competition, I was posting a lot on social media about getting in shape. I kept getting the same questions all the time about my workouts, diet, and training. So I developed my website and e-books to answer everything in great detail. It took a long time to create those plans! The clothing company Reign is fitness apparel. It’s super fun and sporty. I design the graphics part of it and have a great team that helps put together the final product.
CB: What does your training and diet look like?
LS: I do 30 minutes of cardio in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening, six days a week. Each day I focus on two body parts: glutes and hamstrings, shoulders and chest, back and biceps, and then quads and calves. I have an abs day where I mix it with a body part that I feel needs more work. On the sixth day, I usually do plyometrics and hot yoga, which helps me with flexibility. I only do cardio in the morning that day. My diet is really clean. For breakfast I have egg whites and oatmeal. Other than that I stick to chicken or fish and a vegetable. My nutritional philosophy is pretty simple. I combine a lean source of protein with nutrient-dense vegetables.
CB: What motivates you?
LS: Love is the greatest motivator of all! It brings me endless amounts of joy and pleasure encouraging other people and seeing them grow and reach their goals. The letters and e-mails I receive, the personal testimonies of people who have been successful because they have been following me certainly encourages me and motivates me to keep on doing what I’m doing.
Interview by Dr. Cat Begovic
Photography by Michael Neveux