NEW YORK, NY (July 12, 2007) — Petra Nemcova continues to show the world that she isn’t your average supermodel.Having survived the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the Czech-born beauty has a newfound appreciation for the good things in life. “Every experience has plusses and minuses, and it depends on what we focus on,” Petra told Access Hollywood‘s Maria Menounos. “If we focus on the good things — and there is always something good, even if it’s 5% or 1% — then we can heal faster.” That positive attitude was evident when Maria asked if Petra and James Blunt were still friends, in light of their recent split.“Yes, of course,” she replied. “Everybody who has been in my life will be in my life forever, because they are all special people.”Nemcova has certainly touched other people’s lives. She founded the Happy Hearts Fund in 2005, aiding children who have suffered loss or hardship as a result of natural, economic, or health-related disasters. “Even before the tsunami, my goal in life always has been to help people,” said Petra. “Especially children — and just the tsunami gave me more opportunities to help.”
And now Petra is helping aspiring models meet their professional career goals with her new TLC reality series, “A Model Life.”Maria asked Petra what sets her show apart from other model-centric series, such as Tyra Banks’ “America’s Next Top Model.”“It’s about the real world of modeling,” Petra explained. “There’s not a panel of judges like on Tyra’s show.”“A Model Life” follows six aspiring models as they learn the ropes of the business, from their first test shoot to the runways of New York Fashion Week. And though their potential for a contract is assessed by the NEXT modeling agency, the models do not face eliminations and other drama-heightening tactics.“There are no fake challenges,” said Petra.Using her own life experiences, Petra advises the women on how to succeed as a model, and underscores the importance of having a well-rounded life. The newly-blonde beauty told Maria to expect a different kind of show — one that deals with real issues, including the hot topic of the fashion industry and weight.It’s a very personal topic for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. These days, Petra embraces her curves… but it wasn’t always that way.“I went through many different diets,” said Petra. “At one point I became very skinny, and then had to put the weight back. It’s been a challenge.”Nemcova’s show features a trainer and nutritionist who cautions the women about low Body Mass Index, a topic that Nemcova is proud to address: “I’m very happy now that everyone is addressing the issue of size zero girls.” “A Model Life” debuts on TLC July 13 at 10:00 PM (EST).