January 31, 2021
Catch me learning and creating spaces for such a BEAUTY- like TYRA!
From the comfort of our own home, I was gifted the opportunity to interview the beautiful model TYRA,
a Miami local, a woman confident in her own skin and spilling all the tea for you, for me, for US!
First of all, what does a woman's body mean to you? Because God definitely gifted you QUEEN! First of all thank you for the beautiful comment and compliment. For me a woman's body means EVERYTHING. It's so easy for people to use our body to degrade us. As women we are nervous and we fear judgement. We need and crave that confidence within ourselves. The beauty with the fashion industry is that you are able to play with your choices and elevate yourself as an individual and your mental stability.elevate yourself as an individual and your mental stability.
Tell us a bit about your Journey? My life has been integrated with ups and downs. I graduated from high school and went straight into college. I was gifted the opportunity to attend FIU, and recently graduated in April of 2020 with a Bachelors in Psychology and Criminal Justice. My ultimate goal is to foster an opportunity as a Forensic Psychiatrist for the criminal population. I fear our criminal population is disregarded when it comes to mental illness and stability, especially when they are incarcerated. When I initiated the idea of modeling, I didn't have it all, I feared and struggled with the idea of the
potential in myself, it was just not there, it grew over time. With doing photoshoots, and having friends that motivated me and held me accountable to what my purpose is and kept me aligned and fully focused.
Looking at your profile, I love that you are a risk-taker when it comes to style, where do you gather inspo for your looks? I gather inspiration from myself- If i see something that I like I go for it. The old Tyra would never do that. I would question and second guess all decisions made. Over time with much consistency and dedication I gained that confidence, pushing my limits in regards to my own confidence. I remember the time where I would fully cover myself, I hid from the real world and would look at the light at the end of the tunnel as a form of motivation. For me it was street fashion, a form of self-expression, I considered myself a super sneakerhead. It was always in me. Tiana Taylor is my major inspiration. I want you all to know that limitations are endless when it comes to being a woman, you must always believe in yourself.
Do you think Instagram as a platform makes it easier or harder when it comes to pursuing your journey? I want to make sure we consider all creatives and industries which social media influences. I feel like social media is a double edged sword. On the positive end it can take you everywhere, globally. It’s mind blowing to know that by simply adding in the proper hashtags into your captions you are able to capture people across the globe, in the streets of other countries and serve as a form of inspiration. You can be in different realms in the universe and cross paths with the unexpected. As negative and cliche as it may sound- “once it's on the internet it never goes away” - You need to be careful how you present yourself in social media, it can definitely haunt you years down the line. Social media serves as a form of a learning experience daily. You might find yourself asking “What is the appropriate amount to post?” “How much of my life should I expose? To be in tune with the rest of the world? These are all just a few of the questions you will find yourself asking the universe. Pay very close attention to your intuition and your feelings. They all have a deeper purpose.
Who's your fashion Icon? Tiana Taylor. I have been following her since her debut on Sweet 16 on MTV and now she's evolved on a much larger scale. When I first heard of her she was a complete tomboy, but I related to her on all levels. I was all about rocking my Jordans and baggy jeans. She was speaking my language, but as she elevated her look, I was exposed to other things, and it totally broadened my horizons.
If you could give one advice to your younger-self what would it be? If I could gift myself any advice I would tell my younger self that there's so much more out there and not to limit myself to what is in my vision right now. What I could see as obtainable. When I was young I never would have seen myself as an influential person, someone who people looked up to, it's a clear understanding of how sometimes we need to look outside of the box and accept that bigger things might just be in store for you.
What are YOUR do’s and don’t when trying to become an Instagram influencer or Model? Do’s- don't be afraid to ask for help from people that have experience, or people that have insight in your respective industry. DON'T- ever feel like you know everything. Also, don't ever feel like you have to take sexy pictures if that's not your thing. In this industry as a model you will always be thrown under the bus, or pressured from all angles to be pushed beyond your limits. Always keep yourself grounded and close to your comfort levels. Keeping your ground will always save you in this industry. Stand strong and trust your intuition.
Do you love to travel? If so, how have you coped with this for 2020 and what is your favorite destination? Yes, I love to travel. I actually had a cruise planned for March 2021 and it has already been cancelled. I am definitely BUMMED, but I have learned so much this year. It's been bittersweet and how quickly our society has changed, it has pushed me to reach for my full potential, to learn and live in the moment. 2020 has been an EPIC year, where we might not have all the time we thought, which in turn drives us to live the moment. The best thing is taking the proper precautions, living each day as it goes, knowing that everyday we can learn and take in all new information while seeing where the next day takes me. As of today, my Fav destination is NEW YORK!
At what point in your journey were you 100% confident with your rate card? Where you didn’t question if you were under or over charging? This is such a great question, but it actually happened fairly recent, the end of 2020. When COVID hit , it happened so unexpectedly, it motivated me to reach for my full potential and never second guess myself. I learned that if I am worth it, I need to believe and trust that the people around me will fully support me and respect my worth. It’s been so decisive that I realized the very same people who have supported me, I have put forth an extra effort in my deliverables because it just feels so damn good to feel worthy and respected in my industry. Thank you to all who have trusted in me with your brand and image.
Do you have a life event which has shaped you into the woman you are today? Yes, I feel the life event which has shaped me and molded me into the woman I am today is the fact that I was not raised by my mother. I was raised by my grandmother and father. Having an absent mother has definitely influenced me as the woman I am today. I know that as minorities, it's normalized to have fathers who are absent. On the contrary, for me it was my mother. Watching my grandmother grind daily, showing up for me, even at her weakest point, never letting me drown, creating that space for me to shine, and feel yet more empowered to reach my full potential was to admire. I am eternally grateful for her. On the other hand, my dad was active in my life, that side of my family collectively helped in raising me. My dad is MY SUPERMAN.
He has taught me, helped me understand and believe my worth as a woman, embracing and learning how a man should treat a woman and how acceptable it is to have those standards and abide by them.
How involved are you with the brands you partner with? I am highly involved in terms of my modeling with all partnerships. When I collaborate with a clothing company for example I always ask for their vision, it allows me to create different images as to what they are going for. It helps my mind roll in terms of how I can depict what this person wants for this brand. I have always had great connections with my partnerships. I personally have supported brands without asking for discounts. I respect and support 100% always reciprocating the same energy.
Did you have a mentor when you first started or even now? For me the role of a mentor has been fulfilled by my grandmother. She is my driving force everyday, seeing how storing she was for me and my whole family is impressive. She is my rock, if I was ever feeling down with school, or doubted my confidence in pictures, or ever questioned that I can really do this, she would always support me. Either if that meant through a prayer or motivating words, I knew I could always count on her to do that for me
What would be a form of advice for girls that want to model and look up to you. Keep taking pictures!!! No matter how annoying people might think it is, DO YOU!!!! There are lots of models in the world, but there's space for MORE and in a sense no one is YOU- whatever you bring to the table it's something that nobody else has.
In this interview we go deep on what confidence means to you and how you struggled earlier in your career- What does self-love mean to you? Self Love to me means, being not only confident in your own skin but showing appreciation towards yourself for the beautiful person you are inside and out.
At what point of your journey did you agree that this was priority? Self-Love is so important for everyone, especially for women and especially vital for those entering an industry such as modeling that is based on looks. The understanding of what self-love is has always been a priority for me and instilling it into who I am has been a journey in itself.
Do you follow any rituals? Yes, some rituals I follow are regularly reminding myself that there is only one of me in this world and that’s more than any given reason to love myself and I prioritize self care (i.e, getting monthly facials & waxing, manicures/pedicures, getting my hair done).
What are 3 things you are grateful your body can do? With me being young I’m very grateful my body can enjoy the “forbidden” foods us women tend to try to stay away from as we get older such as carbs and a little cheesecake here and there lol without the fear of too much repercussions. I’m also grateful that my body can handle the late nights and early mornings that modeling requires, and also working my 9-5. Lastly, and most importantly during this unfortunate pandemic I am so grateful that my body has continued to remain healthy and virus free.
PS.Your confidence that you so proudly rep, can actually make something that was not a trend a TREND. Own that voice and fear the unexpected, it's a good sign, it just means your leveling the F**K up!!!!