I was discovered: by Katie Halchishick Wilcox, the founder of Natural Models and Healthy Is the New Skinny this past summer. She noticed I was a finalist for Seventeen magazine and Tyra Banks’ Fiercely Real Competition and wanted to get to know me in person. She had me come in for a go-see, and I was immediately convinced to sign with Natural Model Management.
I’m currently working on: being the face of the Kardashian sisters’ new plus-size collection, called Kardashian Kurves. I will be modeling for their denim line for Sears this month.
My best feature is: definitely my smile. I’ve always been confident and proud of my smile, and others seem to take notice too.
I’m beautiful because: I embrace my ethnicity, my body, and who I am. I am proud to be in the skin I am in. It took me a while to embrace where I come from and my body type. I can say I am proud to be an African-American, and I’m proud to be a size 14. Never be ashamed of who you are. People will learn to accept you no matter what.
My favorite thing to wear to feel special: are dresses. I used to be afraid to wear a dress because it would show parts of my body that I was insecure about, but now I love them. I have to wear them at least three times a week. It’s a must!
My beauty routine is: before I start my day, every morning I make sure to moisturize and cleanse my face and body. I use special products my dermatologist gives me that [are] uniquely designed to suit my skin type. It works well and keeps my skin clear. After I’m done with my skin care routine, I apply light foundation, mascara, blush and eyeliner. I usually go for a natural look, unless I’m going out.
My health routine is: I try to work out at least three to five times a week — cardio and a little strength training always do the trick. I’m not the best runner, but I’m getting there. My university has an awesome gym that I go to, but on weekends, I enjoy walking and jogging on the trails near my house.
The best tip I use to flatter my curves is: adding a belt depending on the outfit, to really give my body shape. I also love bandeaux skirts because they look great with almost anything, and you can dress them up or down. They hug your body and show off those amazing curves!
My advice to up-and-coming plus-size models is: keep practicing your poses and practice being comfortable in front of a camera. Don’t give up! It’s a tough industry, and you really just have to keep working at it as much as possible. At times, it gets frustrating because you want it so badly, but I promise, once you work toward it, the end result will be totally worth it!
What helps me get in the zone while shooting is: my drive. All of the obstacles I have faced and overcome help me get in the moment. I try not to worry about anything else and just rock the heck out of the shoot!