EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH
COVER MODEL: RAE NICOLE
Can you tell readers a little bit about myself?
I am an award winning plus-size model, and mental health advocate who has showcased in print, runway and as a fit model. In April 2018, I was voted “Top Plus Model” for the inaugural DMV Plus Awards. Remaining active in the art of runway, this past season, I appeared in New York Fashion Week walking for Rebdolls and Kizzed. I was also featured in the National Curves Day Fashion Gala and Baltimore Style Magazine’s “Big Bash” fashion showcase. This Fall I participated as a panelist on the Netwerq Your Curves Tour. This Spring, I will be participating in North Carolina’s first and only Curvy Community Fashion Week, Crusade of Curves as a runway model and the model coordinator. On a more personal note, my favorite colors are red, black and green. I do not have any children. While I college I was diagnosed with anxiety. I love sleep and I am a two time HBCU graduate.
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
I had to phone a friend for this one. So, this is what I’ve gathered: my drive, level commitment, diversity, willingness to help others, random/weirdness, and my commitment to being a part of the solution. I thought my strongest quality was my creativity, but I think these better lol.
What is your beauty regimen?
I try moisturize regularly using The True Cream Aqua Bomb by Belif, but to be honest I do not really have a regimen that I’m religious about. I drink water, and have been blessed with pretty fair skin. Being tan, I do get dark spots from popping the occasional pimple or plucking hairs, for that I use the lemon Bio-Peel Gauze by Neogen Dermalogy. It’s great for my combination skin, and makes it appear more smooth and even. For lip care, I use Reveal Cosmetic’s Nourishing Lip Balm, it helps keep dry cracking lips away. Now, if only I could find a great eye cream for these bags lol. It may sound like a lot, but I’m really low maintenance. Monday- Friday, I’m a natural haired wash and go, no makeup wearing type of chick.
What can we do more as an industry to advocate for more women to embrace their bodies with the pressure of the media?
Well, before I answer the question, I feel that there needs to be push for inclusivity across the spectrum, and that it should not be exclusive to women, but also men (and the trans community). I feel seeing figures that we all can identify with is one of the many ways to help people in general feel more accepted by and embrace their bodies.
For example, growing up I have always been “big” not large enough to the point that I was socially unacceptable within my community, but I couldn’t do simple things like shop with my friends for clothes. To find solace, I’d sneak away to Torrid, which was the only young “big girl” store at the mall. This was a place where the manikins at least looked like me even if at that time, I couldn’t really afford their clothes, or relate to the girls in their campaigns. However, today, I’m pleased to say that I can confidently walk into any Torrid and not only walk out with a few bags, but see models like look like me on their walls.
As for as a community, we need to continue to push for mainstream visibly. #TheRealCatWalk founded by model and body positive activist KhrystyAna is a great example. Due to her event, images featuring big bellies, stretch marks and even a participant in wheel chair were showcase in vehicles of information such as The Post, People, VH1 and Revelist. I feel that normalizing our bodies, especially in media, is a big part of comprehending that these sagging breast, fupas, flat butts and skinny legs are not only accepted but also beautiful.
What is your ideal Valentine’s date?
What’s a date? It’s been so long since I’ve been on one. My inner Yung Miami from City Girl’s would something like, I’d like to be “flewed out” to a somewhere warm with beach, flowers and a bag waiting for me. In reality, I’d have to go with being picked up, car door opened for me, and then of to a Sip and Paint or to a bar with dinner and dancing, Yea, that sounds more like my speed. I think every day should be Valentine’s Day by the way, maybe that’s why I’m single lol.
What is the one thing in 2019 I will conquer?
Prioritizing. I need to learn how to effectively manage my time and focus on what’s going to be most strategic and impactful at the end of the day.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I just want to be known as a person who cared and tried to make difference. Currently, I plan to continue to using fashion to positively impact the youth in my community. One of the ways I strive to do this is through the Baltimore, MD based nonprofit mentor program EAGER, Inc. I started off as a one of the original mentors in 2009, and now I’m the Vice President. In the future, I am interested shifting my focus to incorporate “Sliver Foxes”, by promoting positive mental and physical health through fashion at every age and supporting a social climate change on trans-generational beauty standards.