We all have something we’re working on; something that we want the whole world to know we’re good at. We think about it in our sleep and practice perfecting it in our dreams. It’s our goals, our passions — the reasons we keep fighting everyday. It’s what some may not see the beauty in, but it gives our life full purpose, truly defining whom we are; and no matter what the exact definition is or the path it brings, we all know what it’s like to want it, whatever it may be.
“I’ve always wanted to model. The most beautiful thing in the world is women and just the confidence that projects from models, is how I think everyone should feel,” said Natalia Jade, an up and coming model from Orlando, Fla.
“I was 18 the first time I shot with my friend and I just fell in love. I stuck with it and now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Photos by Xavier Luggage
It’s coming across inspirations like these that awakens me as a writer, especially with a current focus in fashion. There’s such a heavy attention placed on the brands, the clothes and the designers, that this unintentional flaw is created where the models, the ones who make the fashion look good, aren’t always in the highlight of things. But this time, I’m switching it up.
“I have flaws. I break out sometimes, bad hair days, you name it. Being a model isn’t about being super skinny or being the girl next door. You can be a model just by being YOU.” – Winny Love
Winny Love, Justin B. Smith and Natalia Jade are a few of the hot takes buzzing around the Florida model scene. Along with seeing their faces in some of the apparel of your favorite brands, these models have proven themselves as versatile forces to be respected. Their natural beauty, connections with the camera and effortless sense of style continue to push them further in the game and people are starting to take notice.
“It’s a way for me to express all of my artistic sides and change the way that society views beauty. I became a model to show and inspire that awkward, imperfect, or goofy kid struggling with their identity, that you don’t have to look any specific way to be considered beautiful. With modeling, you define yourself,” said Winny Love.
Photos by Real_Deuces
The idea is often consumed that anyone can model. If you’re beautiful, it should be an easy feat to handle. But that is far from reality. Breaking into the modeling industry is harder than appearing attractive in a candid photo. You have to earn your title and overpower your flaws. Winny Love expressed that at times she struggles with double guessing her self-worth and for Natalia Jade, being only 5’ 7” but controlling the camera like she’s six feet.
“The biggest challenge that I’ve faced within my career thus far is not being viewed as a serious model and/or brand. A lot of individuals look at me as a popular person who happens to take great pictures but, this is my career. I am very passionate about it and have been working towards this goal for the past five plus years,” shared Justin B. Smith.
“There is going to be an opinion from anyone you tell you model. Whether it’s about your weight or how you should handle things. Just keep going and do whatever feels right.” – Natalia Jade
Justin continued to share that being a model is about the ability to be confident with who you are. Often times, models are judged off first impressions on literally who they appear to be on the outside. Their skin, hair and outfits should always look on point.
He also told me, “Fashion is evolutionary for me, which allows me to intertwine my many styles. I wear what I want, when I want, in any weather condition; I call that Fashion Over Fahrenheit.” Fashion over Fahrenheit, I like that.
Photos by Daniel Cruzing
Natalia Jade and Winny Love agreed; fashion is one of their largest forms of expression and also a way of teaching their followers the simplicity of looking your best on a daily basis. All three models expressed having looks that can be versatile because you never how your day may change. Justin and Winny base their day-to-day looks off of moods and what pops out when getting ready. But Natalia shared that she likes to keep her go-to style a little more comfy.
“No one’s going to believe in you unless you believe in YOURSELF! Take risks as well! Network and connect with fellow creatives, and don’t be afraid to communicate and ask for help.” – Justin B. Smith
“I feel as a woman you have to sit with yourself at one point and say, ‘okay, this is what I’m shaped like.’ From there, dress in whatever makes you feel comfortable but sexy, while still accentuating your shape. For me, it’s always boyfriend jeans, a crop top and some sneakers. I think a crop and loose jeans gives off a sexy balance and it’s an outfit that I can switch up with some heels and a jacket. It works anywhere,” said Natalia.
In the end, regardless of their main focuses in the industry or day-to-day fashion tips, each model left me with the same advice: be yourself! The modeling industry can be tough and people will doubt you, but none of that can matter when you believe the talent you posses is something special. So to any models, or anyone chasing something, you see it can be done. Use these figures as inspirations and follow their leads of claiming what you want to be yours.