Hey my loves,
This has been a great Black History Month. Black Panther is still doing numbers in the box office and A Wrinkle In Time directed by the amazing Ava Duvernay will be coming to theaters soon!
Thank you guys for reading, commenting, liking, following, and reposting my blog all month long! You all have shown great support and it only motivates me to keep going. Although I wasn’t able to complete all the projects I had in mind for this month, I am still very proud of the things I’ve accomplished thus far.
Sooo this week I decided to stick with the Black Fashion theme of February and share about my modeling journey.
So here goes…
I start modeling in 2012. Standing at barely 5 foot 5 inches, I always felt like I was too short to be a model. I was just a regular smegular degular college girl. Well my interest for clothes, shoes, hair, and makeup lead me to start attending fashion events on campus and in downtown Sacramento. My first time modeling was at a student designer fashion show at Sac State held by the Student Fashion Association. At the time, I was a new member volunteering backstage at the show. The SFA President approached me hours before the show and told me they were short on stylists and models so they needed me to fill in. I was terrified at the task, to pull together last minute looks for 2 models plus myself, to be displayed on the runway, and in just a few short hours. My first time ever doing anything like that but the results came out better than I expected. After that first show, I start wardrobe styling and modeling at more events around the city.
In my first year of modeling, I met international model and fashion attorney, Uduak Oduok. I saw her speak at a few fashion workshops and I will never forget her advice:
“Start local and move global. It is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond.”
Needless to say, her words inspired me to do more in the industry I was passionate about. She also helped me consider different types of modeling. When I thought about models, I always thought about high fashion runway models but there are various types of modeling. Uduak Ouok explained to me although I may be too short for high fashion runway modeling I should consider being a print model, lifestyle model or even a hair model.
Not too long after attending that workshop I was asked to be a hair model. My first time being a hair model I traveled to LA with other models and hair stylists. I received a platinum blonde razor cut on stage. I was thrilled to be modeling in a new city, LA at that, but I was extremely nervous about having all my hair shaved off in front of an audience. I was a hair model for about 2 years after that.
Lifestyle, print, promo, hair, and some runway modeling were my areas of experience. I also did styling and dressing behind the camera and backstage. I’ve worked with Sacramento Fashion Week, San Francisco Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week and celebrity dress and costume designer, Michael Costello.
After I graduated college, I fell into a creative block. At the time, everything in my life was uncertain. I was no longer in school, fresh out of a situationship, away from home, working temporary positions and retail jobs, and the stress caused me to lose alot of weight. I was smaller than usual but I must’ve been perfect for modeling because after working in San Francisco for a few months, I was signed to Models Inc. Talent Agency.
My time at the modeling agency was short lived because I was too short to be a fit model and my schedule wasn’t flexible enough for promo modeling. I was making more money finding my own modeling gigs and grew tired of waiting to hear back from the agency. Going to auditions were different than I expected. It wasn’t a long line of models waiting to be called, like I had seen on TV. I would recieve an email and a call time. When I arrived to the location, I would take a few headshots, fill out paper work, answer questions then leave and wait to hear back from my agent. With bills to pay and student loans, financially modeling with the agency wasn’t paying off fast enough.
When I start dating my boyfriend, I experienced body paint modeling for the first time. (as discussed in my previous post Artsy Couple Tings ) Although I love working side by side with my boyfriend, body paint modeling made me miss fashion modeling. Modeling body paint is fun and out side of the box but for me, it wasn’t the same as playing dress up in unique clothing styles on the runway or for a photoshoot.
I also start gaining “happy weight” or “relationship weight” when I fell in love. Balancing new love, a budding career, weight gain, living away from home, and trying to survive this crazy economy made me take a break from modeling.
I decided to grow my hair out naturally (as discussed in my previous post Embracing the Coil) and that wasn’t too popular in the world of modeling either. I received remarks telling me to go back to my short straight hair and comments about me getting “fat”.
I felt like I was losing my edge, my “mojo” and it all really discouraged me from modeling. The funny thing is I don’t feel fat, I like my grown woman curves and so does my boyfriend. LOL I also didn’t feel the need to straighten my hair in order to model. Although I appreciate the person I was before, life is about changing and evolving. I have moved into a different era in my life and anyone who knows me knows I am notorious for switching it up.
So now that life is a little more stable, this month I shot with two awesome photographers, Dev Anglin and Eduardio Bucio. It feels good to get back into the swing of things and get back to doing what I love. I will no longer compare myself to a younger and skinnier me. I am no longer a size four but I am wiser, better, and stronger than ever before. The glow up is real yall. I am loving the skin I am in.
Photos by Dev Anglin
Photos by Eduardo Bucio
The lack of representation for models of color, especially curvy ones, in the fashion industry can be discouraging BUT I thoroughly accept the challenge to be myself in a world that tells me otherwise.
We ARE magic ✨✨✨
Happy Black History Year 🖤