I say it’s time to realize that our bodies are worth “settling” for. My advice? Be unapologetic. Take selfies. Wear a crop top to the grocery store. Be extra. Compliment other women. Go dancing. Familiarize yourself with your body. Accentuate your curves. Speak up in class. Enforce your voice. Be proud of the space you occupy, whether that be on the bus or in bed with your boyfriend. Do any little, insignificant thing throughout your day to prove to yourself you’re worthy of confidence. Lanky and thin or thick and curvy, you’re worthy of flaunting it. You’re worthy of feeling sexy.
Can you tell us about your roots & about growing up?
I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a child, I was surrounded by exhilarating city life, towering palm trees, and the intoxicating, gleaming lights of the Strip. When I turned 8, my family packed up and moved to the middle of nowhere in Nebraska. I went from being a tiny speck on the face of metropolitan sin city to graduating high school with a total of 22 classmates. Versatility abound, I now find myself a college student in Omaha, Nebraska.
What were your childhood / teenage dreams? What did you want to become?
As a child, my favorite show was America’s Next Top Model. Tyra Banks was practically a God to me. The show just stuck with me throughout my childhood and adolescence. I’ve always known I wanted to be a model. But people would always tell me that I have to choose something practical, so my plan was always to chase my love for animals and become a vet. Now that I’m in college, I realize that that’s not what I want as I continue to chase my dream of being a successful model.
Any idols during the teenage period?
Tyra Banks was always an idol to me. Not only was she a self-made entrepreneur and extremely successful in the industry I wished to be part of one day, she was also an advocate for body positivity.
When did you start with modeling? Can you recall your first photo session?
As a child, I was always putting on little fashion shows in my mom’s shoes for the family in the living room. I was always chasing a camera and a spotlight, despite being a little shy. My very first photo shoot was when I was 13. My older sister had a friend who started their own local clothing brand and she wanted to help me gain some modeling experience. Needless to say, I was insanely nervous. The other models were much older than me and I was very intimidated. I remember struggling to gain confidence and break out of my shell. I remember thinking how modeling is nothing like taking selfies. That’s when I discovered that there is much more to modeling than just having a pretty face. Not only is the industry very competitive, but the act of modeling itself is hard work; it’s an art, a dance, and a performance. When I was about 14, I was contacted by a freelance photographer in my area. This photographer became somewhat of a mentor figure in my life. Over the next few years, we worked on my modeling together and I owe him a lot of the confidence in front of the camera that I had built during those early, developmental stages in my life.
Lingerie photos - you look beautiful and very comfortable in those photos. Your first lingerie photo session... more about that. Who was in charge when it comes to lingerie, etc. How was the feeling? Reactions from people close to you?
My very first boudoir/lingerie/nude shoot was with a freelance photographer who found me through Instagram. I wanted some diversity in my modeling experience to prove I can be versatile, daring, mature, and sexy. The photographer provided all the lingerie, I just had to dig through all the options to find the best articles for my body type and my personal style. Surprisingly, I was very comfortable during this shoot. I’ve never really been squeamish or nervous about baring my skin in front of others. I’ve always respected this as an art. The feeling was very liberating and empowering. It was super exciting to be this sexy, independent woman on camera. As expected, family and friends were uneasy seeing the photos. My mother especially was shocked. I remember being very nervous about what my mother would think, but she ended up being pretty supportive and optimistic about it. She would tell people, “Well, this is what happens when you wish for a young, beautiful daughter!” Despite everyone’s judgments, I held my confidence. I’m not doing this for the closeminded views of others. I’m doing this because it’s my passion.
What would be your advice to young girls who would like to start a modeling career?
There are a lot of misconceptions about modeling. People assume you get “discovered” by walking down the street or at the grocery store and then the next moment you’re a famous model. If this is what you’re expecting the industry to be like, please choose another path. I would advise young women to think about modeling as a career, just like any other career. You have to work hard to grow as a professional and build your personal brand. If you have the dedication, the passion, and the perseverance to survive the rejections that you will inevitably encounter during your battle towards success, then I advise you continue to chase your goals within this industry.
Can you give any advice, to people in general, how not to be ashamed of their body? We have published curvy, plus size, bikini, and nude models who have had big problems with their confidence before they started to do modeling.
I want to be seen as this strong, powerful woman that I am, but I also don’t want to be deceitful. From time to time, I still struggle with body image issues. I feel like it is almost human nature to pick ourselves apart and be ashamed of our bodies. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best version of yourself, but who is to define what constitutes the “best?” The most haunting phrase seems to be “never settle.” I feel this concept keeps many women from simple acceptance. I say it’s time to realize that our bodies are worth “settling” for. My advice? Be unapologetic. Take selfies. Wear a crop top to the grocery store. Be extra. Compliment other women. Go dancing. Familiarize yourself with your body. Accentuate your curves. Speak up in class. Enforce your voice. Be proud of the space you occupy, whether that be on the bus or in bed with your boyfriend. Do any little, insignificant thing throughout your day to prove to yourself you’re worthy of confidence. Lanky and thin or thick and curvy, you’re worthy of flaunting it. You’re worthy of feeling sexy.
What kind of art, in general, do you like?
One of the most beautiful forms of art, to me, is writing. I love how tangible words and language can be. The structure that goes with grammar, combined with the flexibility of sentence fluidity and imagery, creates something so beautifully artistic. However, I would have to say photography is just as captivating. Lighting, wardrobe, expression, and more all go into making photography such a raw art form. As a model, you can really set the tone for a photo. You can bare it all or hide behind the mask of materialism.
Balancing college, work, and modeling leaves me with barely any free time. I like to dedicate my free time to volunteering at a sanctuary for senior dogs. Being able to do this means so much to me; these senior dogs truly do hold my heart.
Social media where people can see your work.