When Aliya Wolf strides into our office for this interview, we can almost hear her amazing cheekbones slicing through the air as she approaches. "I'm half German and half American Indian, so I have very sharp features," she says, almost apologetically. "People assume that I'm very stern, so I go out of my way to smile a lot, because otherwise I look like the Terminator."
Dressed in a fluffy white robe that she wears between photo shoots, the so-not-Arnold-looking 28-year-old Texan tells us she started modeling as a child when her mother entered her in beauty pageants. "She took me out of them when I was six because she saw all the stage moms with kids turning out like little brats," she says. At 19 Aliya returned to modeling and became Miss Houston USA 1994 and a spokesmodel on Star Search. She married and lived in New Orleans and Canada before returning to Houston with her now three-year-old daughter, Zahra. "My ex-husband and I are best friends, and Zahra is our number one priority," she says. "I bought a quarter horse named Shasta Suntan for my daughter. When I put Zahra up on the horse, she lies down and wraps her arms around Shasta and kisses and pets her. There's something magical between little girls and horses."