By: Delanee Ensley
Media and the world of media can be a tough game. Sometimes just trying to get your foot in the door takes years of planning and making connections. But Yael Cohen Aris did it just by being herself. This influential woman has had a super interesting life, and she’s only 25. She served in the Israeli military, created her own online platform and magazine, and is an Instagram model. However, this is just the start for her. Yael has accomplished so much in her short life. I sat down with Yael to learn about her views, her goals for her life, and the people who helped her achieve her dreams. Through her words, be inspired.
What does HolyLand Magazine mean to you as a magazine and platform?
“Well, I would say that for me, it’s mostly an opportunity to bring something I believe in, an agenda that I hope to promote. This is the reason I established it, an urge I had to bring something that I think not enough people believe in.”
How does OnlyFans contribute to your budding magazine HolyLand?
“Well, OnlyFans I started as an experience because back then, I wanted something for my own. My background is as a programmer, so I wanted to create a platform. I tried a couple of different platforms that were available, monetizing, and community-focused, and then I just saw that they had a lot of the right tools. So I decided to bring HolyLand as something subscription-based. But, it is just a temporary place for me because [I’m] changing my old format because I want to expand. I want to find more people to join the team, and, hopefully, we’ll launch it soon. Also, we’re doing a lingerie line, so there are so many things that we hope to extend. Also [with] the pandemic, this is just a temporary step.”
How did you come up with the name HolyLand? Does it mean something specific to you?
“ Yeah, I mean HolyLand—first of all, when people hear it, they think of HolyLand as more of a religious thing. Well, I am from Israel, so there is something nice about it starting from Israel, but also because the words ‘Holy’ and ‘Land’ are great ways to describe women’s bodies. The way I see [women’s bodies], it is the best, respectful name I could give. I also feature some Israeli girls as well. So, I just thought because of all of those reasons, it would be a wonderful name.”
What made you want to join the military?
“In Israel, the army is mandatory, so I had to join the army by law. But I did spend my [mandatory] two years [before I did an additional two years]. I was accepted to some special program for being a programmer, so it required me to extend my years, and that’s pretty much [it]. I did my duty.”
Was it [the military] something you enjoyed? Or was it something you just felt like you had to do?
“Well, it’s a huge time in my life, the main period. Of course, there are ups and downs, and you know so many of my views changed while I was in the army. You know, while even thinking about armies and war, I wish I had more philosophic stuff. But I also can say no matter what I think today, I’m still very, very proud of serving my country because I think that it is something very good. If you ask me if maybe I would rather spend my time serving my country in a different way, something more that fits my character… I’m just a person that loves freedom and control, so it [does] not 100% fit my philosophical views [or] my character, but still, as I said, there are many moments I enjoyed. I met my best friend in the army. There are so many good things that I have experienced, and this feeling that I am very proud of serving my country.”
As a model, what fashion or creative designer do you think fits best with your philosophy of embracing our bodies and sexuality?
“I don’t think that I have something particular [in mind]. I just really appreciate everyone that supports this agenda and knows that we are different people with different desires and different views. As long as we are doing something that is good for us and not hurting anyone, why not? Anyone that is supporting this agenda [of] embracing ourselves, expressing our bodies and our sexuality, and also just being ourselves, not related to sexuality, I really appreciate these people.”
What is something you regret or wish you could have done differently in your career? What would you have done to change it if you could, or would you just accept it?
“I think that today I accept [it], but there was a time that I thought that maybe I chose wrong, like going through all those years in the army. Maybe I should have started at a younger age going into the entertainment world, my independent path, so I would have more time to pursue my goals and dreams in this world and acting. But you know, I thought about it [for] so long that everything was just perfectly made. First of all, I really love coding, so having this background and this set of skills is just amazing because I know in the future — maybe after a decade in this field — I will go back to it. I’m just really attracted to the tech field, so I’m happy to have both worlds, the media, and the tech world. I guess that today I don’t mind that I started this road later. I think that it’s perfect because I love having this background. I don’t combine worlds, so I don’t regret it. However, I do think that something I needed to do — still need to do, and I’m working on it — is focus because I’m trying to do everything everywhere. I want to do everything 100%, and it’s really hard when I’m doing a couple of different ideas. I think I need to focus. That’s something that I’m trying to work [on].”
What are your favorite video games to play, and why do they speak to you?
“I started Twitch because it’s a community. I wouldn’t say it’s a hobby, but [it’s] the best thing I love to do in my free time, which I don’t really have recently, but I do love to play computer games. It just takes me to a different world, and [I] forget everything and all the tension. I just started streaming on Twitch because I thought, ‘Hey, I love computer games,’ and there is a huge community of people who love it. My followers suggested it to me, and I said, ‘Why not?’ Back then, I mostly streamed ‘Fortnite,’ but it’s not really my favorite type of game. I tried it because it’s very much the streaming vibe. I think my favorite game of all time would be ‘Fallout 3,’ and in general, I really like building games and management. I love the challenge.”
What female leader or icon do you look up to the most?
“First of all, my mom is the most inspiring person in my life. My parents [and] my family, that’s for sure, but I don’t have someone [in] particular. I would say that every woman who was told that she wasn’t good enough or smart enough or was weak and they still made it and proved everyone wrong. That is, for me, what is really inspiring because I really know how it feels. Just because you’re a woman, society judges you wrong and [is] prejudiced. In general, when I see women who are strong and believe in themselves and are still, in spite of everything, doing what they believe in, it’s really refreshing. I really love seeing that. I want to see more of that.”
How did you find out about Doll Studio using your image to make the sex doll, and what were your first reactions?
“It was actually just one or two years ago. One of my followers brought my attention to it [on] some forum, some discussion about it, and [asked] if it was close enough and if it looked like me. It was something, first of all, that was very shocking. I didn’t know what to do. The thing is, I was pretty scared to act or to do something because I was getting some conflicting ideas from people. So, honestly, this is really crazy, and I don’t [know] how to really describe this story, but it’s still [going] on. The doll is still [sold], and I still hope to have an end to this story. Maybe find the right address, the right legal help, to find someone who can help me with this. There is no happy ending here; it is still going on. I honestly don’t know what to do. I never knew about it. I obviously never gave my consent. They called it ‘Yael.’ They told everyone it’s me with all my followers. It’s really messed up. Nobody teaches you when you go online, and you get exposure, that there are consequences [like this]. Nobody ever prepares you [for something like this]. I still hope to fix this.”
What are some of your best workout tips?
“I never tried to be some fitness guru or something. I think it’s also a combination of my genetics and my entire life. I was always very active. I love sports and so many types. The best thing that works for me is to find something I enjoy because when you enjoy something, it is easier to do it consistently, like a routine or a habit. Having something sport-specific as a habit is the best. I love to combine; sometimes I’ll go to the gym, sometimes I’ll go running, sometimes a home workout.”
What is something someone has said to you in your past that has resonated with you, and why do you think it should resonate with your fans?
“My parents always told us, my brother and I, to be ourselves, which I really appreciate. Because at that time you don’t know who you are, your personality. They kept saying that when we were doing our tests for the army to place us. Everyone is always trying to be their best, of course, but they always tell us not to be anybody else. Just in general, be yourself, and I guess at the end of the day, they love us, of course, but it is always something that stuck with me. That is something I want other people to know. If they are sticking with being themself and really trying, this is a one-shot life, so I guess this is the most important, wonderful thing. Even if you want to be someone else, you get that dream job that you don’t really want because you’re trying to be someone else; what is the point? Because in the end, you have to be yourself. Even if you stick to yourself and get that ‘no,’ it is the right place for you because you are yourself.”
What do you think is next for you?
“I’m really hoping to get into the acting field and the music field this upcoming year. I’m also working on this— This is my first time saying this. It’s really new; I haven’t told this to my followers as well. I’m working on a production, a division in my company, that I want to put more focus on. I’m working on my acting because I’m writing a plot. It sounds big, but I’m really trying to make moves through it. It’s very ambitious as well. I’m writing something that I’m really hoping to produce in the future, in one or two years. I want to make everything [come] together to this moment. This is like my dream, one of my goals. There is also a technology project I’m working on, but we’re still trying to figure out our final things before launching it. There is also HolyLand [Magazine] and the lingerie line. I’m also going to keep working on my [social] media, which is something that might seem like ‘What’s the point? Just make some story or post something,’ but I’m really trying to bring something more.”
You can find Yael Cohen Aris on her social media and website, listed below, and her online magazine, HolyLand Magazine. Yael is such an inspiring woman, and it was such a pleasure to get to speak to her. Her words and outlook on life are so positive, and it makes me think that maybe we should all just be a little more positive as well.
Instagram, Twitter, and OnlyFans: @yael1c
TikTok and Twitch: @Yael1c
Youtube: Yael Cohen Aris
Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for clarity.