Interview with Jana Heinisch: About her life as a pilot, her radio show & her modeling career

Jana Heinisch Interview – Jana Heinisch is a true multi-talent: Since her participation in the 9th season of GNTM, the red-haired beauty is not only a model, but also works as a radio host and is a pilot. In the interview with us, Jana talks about her career as a stewardess and pilot, reveals her dream travel destination and talks about her radio show and her own podcast. Jana also talks exclusively to us about her participation in GNTM, her modeling career and her plans for the future.

Career as stewardess and pilot

FIV: Hello dear Jana, how nice that it worked out with the interview today. A lot has been happening with you lately. Your life is so exciting. You are a pilot and before that you worked as a stewardess. How did you end up working in this field?

Jana: The career choice of flight attendant came about more or less by chance, when I realized during my teaching degree that studying itself didn’t fulfill me and that I would rather continue to work in the classic working life without 9to5 conditions. The education was more of a joking side note from my mom – “What if you could fly? What would you do?” A few weeks later I had a training contract with Germania, later became the advertising face of their new image campaign (model background thanks) and after one year cabin manager (colloquially called senior or purser). At the beginning of 2019, insolvency was filed and all employees were laid off. I knew – without flying, without me. But why not actually on the other side of the cockpit door? When I moved to Berlin, an acquaintance recommended a flight school in Brandenburg and so the training started.

Jana’s dream destination: New York

FIV: As a flight attendant, you’ve been around the world a lot. What has been your most beautiful travel destination so far and is there a place in the world you definitely want to travel to?

Jana: I was a flight attendant on medium-haul flights. So the romantic idea of palm trees, sandy beaches and metropolises, and always waking up in the most amazing hotels there, is not something I’ve experienced. Nevertheless, I would definitely like to travel to New York in the run-up to Christmas – a bit kitschy, I know, but that is actually quite high on my list.

Photo: Nikk Martin

Journalism has always interested the beauty

FIV: Not only are you a pilot, but you also have your own weekly talk show on Radio Energy. Have you always wanted to do something in the journalistic field?

Jana: I’ve always found the exchange with readers or viewers exciting – when I was still a flight attendant, I also got a column at Travelbook and on Instagram there was my weekly #flightfactfriday with anecdotes and behind the scenes info from flying. Writing, talking, questioning, listening, learning new things has always been a big part of me and of course I’m happy that I now have so many different opportunities to live this out.

This is what Jana likes best about her radio show

FIV: On the show, you interview celebrities and influencers and talk about current issues and events. What do you like best about your work as a radio host?

Jana: The best part is really the conversations and the input from our guests. The format is called #Realtalk on Wednesdays, because we usually have people as guests who are not part of the classic curriculum vitae and don’t talk about what every channel always talks about anyway. A man who was a street kid and is now a Spiegel bestseller author, a woman who works as a ghost hunter, another who earns her money on Onlyfans, a drug dealer who served time in the toughest prison in South America and has now found his way to God, or two friends who come from the puppy play scene and live out their sexual fantasies with dog masks. All these people have experienced things that are partly beyond my imagination and I find it very inspiring and important to go into these diverse exchanges.

That’s how important the topic of feminism is!

FIV: In your radio show and podcast Neongrau, you address topics that move you, like feminism. How important is it for you that people talk more about such topics?

Jana: Feminism triggers an eye-roll reaction in many people. I can even understand that to some extent, because who wants to put energy into breaking old thought patterns when you could easily continue as before. However, not only women need feminism for equality, but also men. Not only should a woman not be assigned a special position because she is a pilot or builds her own kitchen – men who, for example, don’t go to the gym to “pump” or are sensitive, like to dance or paint, or take care of housework and childcare should not be pushed further into a role either. Feminism defines for me that every person is allowed to be everything (as long as they don’t restrict anyone else with it) regardless of their biological sex.

Photo: Nikk Martin

Pressure in the fashion industry worse than on social media!

FIV: You’re in the public eye and you’re active on social media as a social media personality. You also talk about these important topics on social media. How great is the pressure in the business to always be “perfect”? What’s the best way to deal with it?

Jana: I never felt the pressure of having to be perfect on Instagram, but that’s also because I worked in the fashion industry for many years, where a completely different wind blows again. I became jaded there at the time, and social media and the people there were the ones who gave me self-confidence again. My hair was suddenly special and not “too red”, my hip measurement was suddenly normal and not “too big” and my overall appearance was suddenly “beautiful” and not “exotic”. Of course, there are always two sides to everything – including social media. In general, we should be actively mindful of what content and values we expose ourselves to by subscribing to appropriate accounts. I regularly clean up my subscribed accounts several times a year because I also only want to look at what I find aesthetically pleasing without doubting myself, what inspires me without feeling inferior, and what I enjoy but not at the expense of others.

GNTM as a stepping stone: Afterwards you are responsible for your own success!

FIV: You became known through your participation in GNTM, among other things, and have been successful as a model ever since. How has your life changed since GNTM?

Jana: GNTM has given me a few moments of notoriety following participation. Becoming known is easy and this hardly requires an extraordinary ability nowadays – to STAY known or endure for more than two seasons in this industry without wanting to use trash formats is something completely different. Since I left Klum’s agency relatively quickly and looked for a real agency and I also had hardly any online presence at the time (Instagram channel, Tik Tok etc – didn’t exist), the notoriety was short-lived and actually didn’t change that much, except that I got really good catwalk training, recognized and learned interview strategies and now know my way around contracts well. I had already started my studies before participating and resumed them afterwards (though not for very long, as we know from my flight attendant history) and the real notoriety only came with flying, my contributions to it and the column – at that time I served a niche with the content from the airplane, which few creators have played but with which almost everyone can identify, since most people have already traveled in an airplane. I simply had the right idea at the right time.

Photo: Nikk Martin

Highlight of her modeling career: stretch for Women’s Health

FIV: You are super successful as a model and have already walked at Fashion Week in Berlin, among other things. What has been your career highlight as a model so far?

Jana: you’re not “super successful” just because you run Fashion Week in Berlin (which isn’t really Fashion Week and isn’t really recognized in the industry either) – the “real” FW are the ones in Milan, Paris, New York and London, also called the “big four”. If you run shows there several seasons in a row, THEN you are “super successful”) Modeling is far from always as glamorous as it is socially exaggerated. If I shoot a catalog inlay for a supermarket chain, or my face is emblazoned on a trade show poster for insurance companies, that’s modeling too – but people usually think less of that when they hear the term. A cool job was definitely once a stretch for Women’s Health, when I was called in the middle of winter if I could shoot the editorial the next day at the sea in Turkey – my first thought at the time was “damn, who feeds my cat”.

Jana’s future plans for 2022

FIV: Finally, a short look into the future, we are curious what you have planned in the near future: Do you have big plans like a move or something similar or is there something special coming up? Give us a little teaser of what your fans and followers can look forward to in the near future!

Jana: As you know, I’m definitely not the type of person who plans far into the future. There are some ideas and projects in the pipeline – what will be realized in the end remains as exciting for me as it is for you.

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