So...people always ask me why I started modeling or what made me decide to model. Long story short, the image below.
Growing up I didn't have many images or role models in the mainstream to look up to for body confidence. There were not many relatable images that made me think I was accepted. I grew up in the Cindy Crawford era, where the All-American girl next door was the desired one. So, in 2006, when I was flipping through channels, I saw Velvet (shown above) on a major fashion runway in Paris. THIS was an image I could relate to and she felt familiar. And not only did she seem relatable but she was celebrated for who she was. In awe of this moment and of the fire in my belly I decided I would create the change I wanted to see. Fast forward 7 years, a few protests, and hundreds of emails later...I got the attention of a designer named Alhassan Toure who agreed to put me on his runway during New York Fashion Week. It wasn't in the tents or in Lincoln Center but that didn't matter. The moment of acceptance and the opportunity to be in a position to offer something different and what inclusion could look like was all that mattered to me. I invested time, gained his trust, pitched my ideas on why it was so important to put me on his runway and a miracle happened. He listened. He agreed. He helped. And after a year of planting seeds...it happened. I'm beyond thankful Toure Designs and his team gave me the opportunity to give someone else that same belly fire that Velvet gave me. This mission had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the next generation of girls/teens and women who need something to relate to. I did it for them. I've been told "no" SOOO many times, especially this past year, and this is what happens when you keep saying. I went and showed you what "YES" looks like. THANK YOU to everyone who posted about it, who showed love at the show and sent all the encouraging messages. I'm glad you liked it. #keepgoing #push #justkeepswimming
Click on the on the image below to see the behind-the-scenes video of the show and a little of my sass on the runway ;) Couldn't help myself!
The NYC life of a Cali girl.