I think in my early teens is when the bevy questions regarding a possible modeling career started flowing in. A lot of people told me I’d be perfect for it, but of course I never really felt secure enough to actually try it for real, lol. On two random occasions I did take a chance though, once in the 8th grade and again during my undergraduate career. When I was 12, my dad was nice and patient enough to take me out on a casting call that I had heard over the radio. I remember putting on my best outfit (at that time, lol) and wanting to impress a boy I liked if I got a call back. Not surprisingly, I only made it far enough to realize it was a scheme where you only received a ‘start’ to a ‘career’ with the right amount of money paid upfront.
The second time around, I signed up for a modeling site and booked a few gigs, but nothing substantial or remotely remarkable. The few ‘opportunities’ I had didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped, so modeling just started to seem like an unattainable dream which just discouraged and turned me off to pursuing it any further. During that time, I can honestly say I didn’t even believe in my own capabilities. Even at that point in my life, I was still hoping ‘being seen’ pursuing it would make people ‘see’ me because for while and for a lot of different reasons I felt invisible. Though in some cases I was comfortable, a majority of the time I wasn’t and had hoped whatever attention I could get from trying to model would remedy that.
The results of my second attempt did not render the validation I had hoped (or envisioned) quickly enough and commuting back and forth from Riverside to LA for small budget shows and shoots didn’t seem worth the strife. At 19 my confidence was pretty moderate, but never enough to sustain me. Looking back, my disbelief in myself and lack of confidence in my own beauty and abilities is what really kept me from the opportunities out there. To be honest, I just wasn’t ready and my self-value wasn’t were it needed to be to pursue modeling. My head was completely in the wrong place and could have left me vulnerable to a lot of not so great things during my pursuit. I think in a sense God was definitely sparing me, lol.
I can gladly say now, at nearly 25, my confidence is right were it needs to be to do anything. Since starting the blog, the resurgence of modeling inquiries has come back stronger than ever. Family, friends, random people on the street will ask or tell me to model, to which I always answer reluctantly, “oh nah, but thank you.” It wasn’t until I spoke to my mom recently about the site that I figured I’d do my research and give it an honest try this time. My mom has always been supportive of everything, but I was a little reluctant to show her the site because we didn’t always see eye to eye when it came to how I dressed, and that definitely became evident when I started dressing and shopping for myself. But surprisingly enough, my dad ended up showing her the #BloggersForBlackLives post that I sent to him and she ended up scrolling through the whole entire site and then forwarding it to everyone, lol. We were both EXTREMELY pressed about my finding job when I started it, so I just didn’t want her to know I had begun splitting my time between my job search and the site, I honestly thought she’d think it was ridiculous and that 100% of my time should be going to the job hunt. We ended up having an amazing talk about T9A and the plans I had for it, and she was just so amazed at my writing and the way I wanted to cultivate my creativity to make it into a career for myself. I didn’t realize she had seen the whole thing until she said, “I read it, I scrolled through the whole thing! (lol) But I looked at your pictures and was just like ‘WOW’, she looks like a model, she could really model.” She doesn’t really know it, but everything she said I took to heart, and it meant more than she’ll ever know to have her belief in my creativity and visions. Following suit, I figured I’d give it one more go, lol.
I researched a few open calls and sent in a few pictures. I only went to one open call, but I sent in a few pictures from this post to multiple agencies and heard back from someone. I have to send in a couple new shots, but they actually want to talk to me, lol. I’m just so thankful for my newfound confidence and fearlessness, it pushed me to put myself out there, drove me to pull together this new site, prepared me to take a risk, and helped in renewing my faith in myself.
It was cool trying something random just because I mean honestly you never know. I hope something comes of my next submission, ya girl would LOVE a side hustle that only involves getting dressed and serving up looks, lol. I’m no longer looking for the validation I had sought out before, thankfully I’m in a totally different place and honestly I just wanted to give it a sincere try while I was in the right place and time in my life to do so. I mean I ain’t have no job at the time, so I wasn’t doing anything else during the day but looking for another one, lol. Nonetheless! Who knows maybe you'll see me in a magazine or poster somewhere, lol idk fam… Anything you can see yourself doing is always worth an honest to-God try :)
Remember to love yourself and support your local black businesses this weekend, y’all!!
Glasses/American Apparel Necklace/Boohoo Bodysuit/Zara Jeans/TopShop Boots/Rebellious Fashion UK