Irina Shayk, whose full name is Irina Shaykhslamokava or Ирина Шайхлисламова if you want to get technical, was born and raised in the small Russian village of Yemanzhelinsk.
Many claim that she is Muslim, which isn’t too far-fetched considering her Tartar heritage. The Tartars, an ethnic group in Russia, converted en masse to Islam in the 8th Century. However, it is unlikely she’s devout considering she has never talked about being Muslim and at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, Shayk seemed unaware of Muslims’ attitude toward cleavage and legs and boyfriend Cristiano Ronaldo felt it necessary to cover her with his jacket.
She has, however, spoken extensively on her belief in karma and reincarnation, saying:
I believe in second life. What’s my life gonna be like next time if I’m not gonna have my face then? Russian people are very superstitious. I really believe in karma. If you do something bad, it’s gonna come back to you.
Later in the interview, Shayk expresses a desire to come back as her own dog in her next life. So, despite any Muslim roots or secular Russian socialization, it looks like we might have a fair-weather Buddhist or Hindu on our hands.
The politics of femininity
Shayk doesn’t seem to have delved too deep into the world of politics–yet. She has emigrated to New York City, however, so maybe we’ll get a U.S. political endorsement out of her in the future.
She is impressed with the long history of female Russian rulers, indicating a continued interest in her national heritage. She said:
Catherine, Anna, Elizabeth. We had women ruling the whole country. Russian women are so strong.
She might be the only Russian who could pose any threat to Vladimir Putin.