I was discovered: By Factor Women, formally Elite Models, in my hometown of Atlanta. I just started college and met a friend from doing the homecoming fashion show on campus. My friend had a real desire to go see some agencies. So I went to be supportive, and I left there with a meeting scheduled the following week to discuss my new contract!
I'm currently working on: I recently graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Media Arts. I am exploring acting and other media projects, which enables me to use my experience as a model and my education in the arts.
My best feature is: My skin. I love the texture, tone and my brown complexion. I'm blessed with a glow year-round. Thanks, Mom!
I'm beautiful because: Of my indomitable spirit. I eagerly take on life challenges. I don't allow my light to be dimmed by anything. I’m focused! I find a way or make one.
My favorite thing to wear to feel special is: My bold lipstick! Whether it be red, pink or orange, I'll throw a lip on and feel prepared for anything.
My beauty routine is: Firstly, I cleanse my skin with an exfoliating pad. I love the Lancôme skin systems. I use a foam cleanser, a toner and a multi-vitamin cream moisturizer. My daily makeup look is MAC under-eye concealer and Too Faced Lashgasm mascara. I sometimes groom my dominant brows by brushing them with my mascara brush to smooth them lightly. The thing about taking care of your skin is you can wear minimal makeup and accentuate your features with a simple process. Sometimes I apply my makeup before I shower to create a dewy supple look. My evening look is usually a cat eye with liquid liner, bronzer and a bold matte lipstick. I avoid foundation as much as possible, especially when I'm not working.
My health routine is: I usually go to the gym three to five days a week. This summer I started training to run. I'll do either an interval session on the treadmill or elliptical. I also love hot yoga! It's the most amazing feeling when you're done, and it improves flexibility and releases toxins, which is great for the skin. I also love to dance! I secretly dance in my room all the time.
As for my diet, I drink tons of water, and I always have greens or fruit with my meals. I'm Southern, so I can cook! I put healthy twists on classics like sauteéing kale, roasting sweet potatoes and making oven-fried rosemary chicken.
The best trick I use to flatter my curves is: I love high-waist pants and skirts. I usually pair it with a button-down tied-up to give a belted effect. Also, a wrap dress does wonders for a woman's figure.
My advice to budding plus-size models is: Know your body. Know your angles. It’s important to project what you're thinking on film. Learn the industry past and present, not just the plus industry but all designers, all photographers, all publications. It makes me feel confident about my knowledge of the industry when I go on set. It's your job — respect it. Study!
I get into the zone while shooting by: Thinking about the clothes I'm wearing and who I'm wearing them for. I think about my audience, and it just flows. Good music on set is always a plus! I love the Prince Pandora station while shooting. Everyone ends up dancing or singing to the tunes. When everybody on set is in the zone, that's a good day.
My favorite ESSENCE shoot was: My favorite shoot was the holiday fashion article (December 2012 issue). It was great to be able to show variations on how to play up a dress for two different occasions. It was fun! Being featured in the issue with such a trailblazer as Gabby Douglas as the cover girl was amazing! I admire her discipline & courage. She's awesome.
My favorite places to shop: Zara, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Asos, Nordstrom, Top Shop, Evans UK. I love boutiques because I prefer one-of-a-kind pieces.
My favorite style blogs are: I love what Madison Plus is doing. You gotta check it out! It's awesome for plus women to get a one-stop shop. Anna Dello Russo gives me larger-than-life visuals I love.
Where can we look foward to seeing you next?: I'm excited to begin the grassroots of my non-profit geared toward at-risk young girls in my hometown. I plan to launch this year. I'm also looking forward to working with several UK companies in the new year. Huge things to come. Stay tuned!