For a model that is just now stepping onto the scene, Christina Pistone certainly knows how to make a grand entrance.
The emerging model from Valencia, Calif. has been capturing the hearts of many of late, most notably in the current Maxim "Hometown Hotties" competition, where she has advanced all the way to the finals.
Amazingly, the 21-year-old model had never even heard of the competition until someone mentioned it to her back in January. So she decided to look it up, send in her pictures, and the rest, you might say, is history.
"I was never like, 'Oh, I've got to win this,' " says Pistone, who is of Argentinean and Italian descent. "I was just kinda going along with it, and the farther I went, I was like, 'That would be really cool to make it to the next round.' "
What makes Pistone's run in the competition all the more amazing is the fact that she just started modeling this year. While she dabbled in a few commercials growing up, she says that she never really had the itch for a career in front of the camera.
"It wasn't like, 'I want to grow up to be a model,' " says Pistone, whose mom was born in Argentina and still has a lot of family living there.
Oddly enough, it was fitness that helped play a role in Pistone arriving on the modeling scene. Her passion for training can be traced to her first year of high school, when she became interested in aerobics, running and weight training. That led her to becoming a certified personal trainer at the age of 18.
"I've always been into working really hard to keep myself in good shape," says Pistone, who also loves kickboxing and snowboarding. "One day I just said, 'I train people to look good, I work hard to look good, if I can make money because of that, why not?' "
From there, Pistone decided to shoot with photographer Michael Maples. However, even after that first shoot, she still wasn't fully ready to dive into making a career out of modeling.
"I took the pictures, but I kind of put them on hold," she explains. "I was still in school and I couldn't really focus on it."
Finally, just this past January, Pistone got together with Maples again for a second shoot. And this time, the timing was just right.