Angela has always had dreams to model but in middle school, a body positivity project prompted her to learn about eating disorders fueling her insecurities. To top it off, bullying by her peers made her self-conscious and fearful of judgment as she felt she was too skinny at her 5’7” height.
“IN MY MIND, I HAD TO GAIN WEIGHT, TO GET ACCEPTED.”
That was nearly 10 years ago. Angela is now a second-year biology student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). When she isn’t helping international students learn English or studying to be a researcher, Angela is modeling at runway shows such as RVA Fashion Week or at meetups and photoshoots.
When reflecting on the fears she had when she was younger, Angela recalls feeling dismissed and alone about her physique and modeling. Since going through high school and college, Angela has gained growth and maturity after realizing she had a support system with her friends and family and that she had to show up for herself.
“I FELT LIKE I HAD TO FIT IN AND THAT’S WHY I STARTED MODELING BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE LOOKS THE SAME.”
Instagram has helped her gain more confidence in modeling because of the representation she has seen with black female models with natural hair or similar features as hers. They serve as an inspiration and have paved the path for her to follow.
Through many pep talks in the mirror, Angela had to buildup the courage to go out and model. There is great tenacity and self-assurance to this young woman and it comes from realizing the opinions she has of herself matters the most.
“I WANT MY PICTURES TO SHOW CONFIDENCE. REGARDLESS IF OTHER MODELS DON’T HAVE MY FEATURES, I USE MY FEATURES AND MAKE IT WORK BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT MAKES ME UNIQUE.”
As for the future, she is looking forward to being a resident assistant (RA) at VCU and is excited to study abroad at a research university with her friend in her senior year. Angela will continue her passion for modeling and is open to collaboration and expanding her portfolio. She is interested in commercial, editorial, and runway modeling.
We enjoyed our session with Angela having met her at the 444 Meetup. Historic Tredegar the canal walk provided a great contrasting background to Angela’s beautiful red dress. We are rooting for this gal and owning your own beauty.
You can see Angela’s work and drop a DM on her Instagram @angelaavaughn.