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Twenty-year-old Nataya Smalls from Norwalk, Connecticut, is the new “ESSENCE It Girl.” Through the ESSENCE model bootcamp, Smalls proved she had what it takes to win a modeling contract with Elite Model Management and a fashion spread in ESSENCE Magazine.
We take a look at the burgeoning model’s life in pictures.
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At three years old, Nataya giggles in her dad Leon Richardson’s arms on Easter Sunday.
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Even at three, Nataya was a little fashionista in her adorable red polka dot dress and opaque white stockings.
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Nataya Smalls, 4, and her older brother Brandon pose for a portrait.
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Nataya proves photogenic at an early age as she poses for her first grade school picture at Silver Lane Elementary School.
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At nine, Nataya gets into celebration mode with a “Blues Clues” birthday hat for her nephew’s first birthday.
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In her tomboy phase, Nataya hangs with the fellas at her nephew’s birthday party.
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Nataya rocks box braids for her fifth grade school photo at Silvermine Elementary School.
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At her eight-grade graduation Nataya looks chic in a short haircut a-la Halle Berry while posing with her friend Teonna.
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Goofing off with her Norwalk High School basketball teammates, Smalls sticks her tongue out at the camera.
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Nataya and her Junior Prom date Isaiah make the perfect match, coordinating her pink dress and his vest. We love the side cut-outs and the jewel details on her prom dress.
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Nataya chooses a haltered burnt orange gown for her Senior prom. The dramatic curls are to die for.
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Nataya poses with her sisters Akilaah, Nenyelle and Nzinga. Her cousin Nekkah looks on.
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