Israel model Yael Shelbia has been awarded the top spot on the magazine TC Candler‘s list of the most beautiful women in the world for 2020.
The list ranked actress and “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, who also served in the IDF, as No. 22.
Overnight Sunday, TC Candler released a video compilation showing its readers’ picks for the most beautiful women in the world. The 15-minute clip ends with a picture of Shelbia’s face and her title.
The clip garnered some 200,000 views in the first two hours it was posted online. Later Monday, the magazine was expected to formally announced Shelbia as “loveliest of them all” on its official Instagram page, which has roughly 1 million followers.
Shelbia has recently climbed in the list’s rankings over the past few years. In 2017, the model placed 14th; and in 2018 she was up to third place. In 2019, she came in second, and now she has made it into the top spot.
In April 2020, Shelbia joined the Israeli Defense Force, the military forces of the State of Israel. She is currently serving in the Air Force. Yael Shelbia Cohen was born in Nahariya, Israel, to a religious Orthodox Jewish family. She attended a religious Ulpana high school for girls. Her modeling soon led to controversy and opposition in her Ulpana, which threatened to send a letter to the Israeli Education Ministry to expel her. Her family, however, had been supportive of her career, so long as it would not interfere with her religious studies. And after consultation with Israel’s Religious Education Ministry, she was allowed to continue her studies on the condition of following certain guidelines. However, combining a modeling career with a religious lifestyle has led to difficulties, including in terms of modesty of clothing. During a modeling campaign in Milan, she had to live on crackers for four days, as she could not find kosher food. She says she had lost many modeling contracts, due to her keeping of the Sabbath and choices in clothing. In 2019, she began dating American businessman Brandon Korff, son of Rabbi Yitzhak Aharon Korff, and grandson of billionaire Sumner Redstone.