My advice to Black models today would be never give up! Do not allow others or circumstances to define you or your future. Be bold and courageous. Always be grateful and thankful to people. Respect yourself and others.
The advice I would share with Black models today is to not only keep their bodies fit but also remember to nurture themselves from the inside as well.
I transitioned into acting after modeling. My latest job is playing Dr. Darby Wilder on Law & Order: SVU. I became a wife and a mother of two beautiful daughters, Lola, 13, and Marley, 11.
My favorite memory of shooting for ESSENCE would absolutely have to be the first time I shot for the magazine. I grew up with it being a staple in our house. I can remember flipping through the pages looking at these beautiful brown women who actually looked like me and dreaming one day that I would be in this magazine too.
Getting married at 39 and giving birth to my sons, Kaden and Bryce, at the age of 44 after struggling with infertility for six years, is definitely the highlight of my last 15 years.
The ESSENCE cover in 1994 jump-started my modeling career of 20 years. I smile even now recalling the ESSENCE team. We'd giggle about our Black girl shapes, and they'd chat about what magazines we'd been sighted in with a sparkle of pride that made gearing up for shoots feel more like family reunions.
Over the past 15 years, I have raised three children and owned a boutique before becoming a mother agent to models worldwide. I use my past as a model to help others reach their goals.
I have fond memories of countless beauty shoots with Mikki Taylor, and amazing artistry with the likes of Oscar James, Sam Fine and Jay Manuel. I remember the laughter the most, the times in the chair getting hair and makeup done by the masters.
The highlight of my last 15 years is that I moved from Paris to New York City and met my wonderful husband. We have two beautiful daughters together. I also got my real estate license a few months ago.