What made you first become a model? Even though I am quite shy, I have done a couple of pageants when I was younger. I use to enjoy trying on clothes and pretend I was walking down a runway. I was recruited for a modeling group in college, but turned it down because I was quite too shy. Still regret that decision to this day. A lot of photographers use to ask to work with me and I turned them down. I finally gave in and did my first photo shoot in 2017 and have not looked back since. I wish I would have started in college, but who's to say that it is too late??
How did you feel when you did your first ever fashion show or photo shoot? During my first photo shoot I was very nervous. I did not have on any makeup and did not have any experience whatsoever. I invited my cousin with me for moral support which did help. The photographer was very easy to work with and did not made the experience worthwhile. My pictures turned out very well for my first shoot and worked with him a few times after that.
Who was your role model as a child and how did that help in being a model? My role model was of course Tyra Banks. Her show, America's Next Top Model, actually inspired me because it featured women of not only different races, but different sizes and shapes. It encouraged me to go forth with modeling because I am not the "average" model. I would be considered plus size and I am 5'6".
What did your parent first think of you being a model and where they supportive? My mother was not supportive at first because she did not like the provocative photos from the photo shoot. However, I explained to her that women model in lingerie all of the time (i.e., Victoria Secret) and being able model with too much clothing or very little clothing is something that models are required to do in the industry. Since then, she has been more supportive of my career choice.
How do you feel about the controversy of the size 0 debate in the industry. I feel as if the industry (which they have) should be more open-minded to the different sizes women are. All women are not a size 0. Culture has changed, society has changed, and social media has been a big influence on the acceptance of "plus size" models. I am a size 12 to 14 and even though I may not look like it, it would be evident compared to a "typical" model size.
If your were not a model, what other profession would you have been doing instead? I am currently working as a licensed Social Worker at a VA Medical Center with homeless veterans. I am a veteran myself (still serving) and I have been in the military for 11 1/2 years. I have always wanted to work with veterans outside of being a model in the fashion industry.
What are your guilty pleasures food wise? My guilty food pleasures are: pineapples, grapes, chocolate, hamburgers, and beef nachos!! Yum!!
How do you cope under the pressure of being a model? I have a very good support system on days where I feel as if I am struggling within the industry. However, I do not give up and I work harder, pray harder, and claim what it mine.
What beauty tips do you swear by? Never trust a big butt and a smile!! Haha! Seriously, the beauty tip that I swear by accept your flaws and do not change what God has blessed you with.
If a young girl/boy wanted to be a model what would your advice for them be? I would tell them to NEVER let anyone convince you to do anything you are not comfortable with. If they cannot accept you for who you are, find someone that will. You are who you are, not what the world sees you as. BE YOU! :-) xoxo