My favorite challenge was the Maroon challenge because it really spoke to my heart. I am familiar with challenges and trials as I had a heart attack after the birth of my 2 year old son. When you have to fight for your life, you look at it differently. You step out and accept challenges with ease and confidence because you know what you have persevered through.
Congratulations Chassity! How do you feel?
I am truly elated!
What went through your mind, what did you feel when you read that last email that announced the winner?
I read the email at 3:00 in the morning and immediately felt like I was never alseep. I was extremely happy, and a host of other emotions all at the same time.
So, lets go back to the beginning for a moment; how did you hear about the competition and why did you decide to participate?
I was familiar with the site and went to it for information to post on my natural meetup group's site and found the contest while doing research.
Can you please tell us what you do in real life and how you combined this competition with your day to day activities? Did you model before?
Well, when I started the competition I was a stay at home mom and had been so for a year and a half (I have two children ages 7 and 2), but by the time the contest had gotten to challenge 7 I had begun a new full time job, needless to say things got very interesting.
I have done a bit of modeling at various times in my life but mainly through college. I had been out of the loop for sometime, so it was nice to get a taste of the industry again.
People very often underestimate this competition because it's an online competition but I know the hard work and dedication it takes. What was the hardest part of the competition for you?
The hardest part of the competition for me was reading the reviews. I have a tough, thick skin and I am competitive by nature, so the comments didn't offend me but I was just eager to move to the next challenge and show and prove.
Of all the eight challenges, which was the toughest one and why? And which one was the most fun?
The toughest challenge for me was the accessory challenge. I had a wardrobe malfunction right during the shoot and had to just get as creative as I could being that once I started working my team and I were doing everything,.....on Saturday!!!!! My favorite challenge was the Maroon challenge because it really spoke to my heart. I am familiar with challenges and trials as I had a heart attack after the birth of my 2 year old son. When you have to fight for your life, you look at it differently. You step out and accept challenges with ease and confidence because you know what you have persevered through.
America's Next Natural Model is designed so that aspiring natural models learn to methodically approach a photo shoot and to think beyond a model's level; to think about the complete setup, photographer, location, style etc. Do you think you've learned any of these things?
I learned about all of the above. Being the captain of this ship has really made me look at things differently. It's not easy at all and everything is at stake. You have to think of every possible way your shoot will be portrayed to the viewers. Perception is everything.
Who do you think was your closest competitor?
I would have to say Reshonda was my closest competitor because she was just as determined as I was.
You won the main price of $1.000. Any plans on how you are going to spend it?
My 7 year old daughter seems to have all kinds of ways "we" can spend it. I'm not exactly sure yet, but at least I have help :) .
You also won a photo shoot with Adrian Alicea. So Sula NYC will fly you to New York and maybe you can also do the instructional video that Iman Cosmetics was interested in doing with you. What do you think of that?
The mere thought of that still blows my mind! I am so excited about this journey and feel blessed that this is only the beginning!
Will you be pursuing modeling after this win?
Modeling will always be dear to my heart. I was introduced to modeling as a pre teen. My mother wanted to build my confidence and be proud of my then chipmunk teeth, red Sally Jesse Raphael glasses I wore in sixth grade and extra thin frame. She signed me up for modeling classes on self esteem, poise and etiquette as a pre teen. Now as a grown woman I am always open to modeling and promoting the positive black woman in a light the media can sometimes only show a narrow perspective of.
Do you think natural hair is a fad or that it's here to stay?
I think natural hair is here to stay! We are moving more towards health as a country and people are more conscious of what they put in and on their bodies. The dangers of hair dyes and chemicals are more prevalent than in the past, so my hope is that sites like this one will continue to be a force on keeping people informed.
You had so many styles during the competition. Do you have a favorite one?
My stylist really put it down on my head week after week!!! I enjoyed rocking all the styles, but I am not one for looks that are too contrived, so my personal fav was just a free flowing twist out. I love big hair!!!
How did your family support you throughout the competition? Do you want to give a shout out to your supporters, family and friends?
Oh my! I have had the best support throughout this competition! I am so blessed.
I would like to first and foremost give glory to God!
I had a team of wonderful people that literally assisted me through out this competition. My "TEAM" consisted of my natural hair stylist Taji Shabu Jones, my photographer Dajuan Jones, Amani Smith natural jewelery creator, mentor Kim Smith, sister friend/adviser Geneva Michell.
My cheerleaders were my husband as the coach, my kids as they would oooh and ahhhh when they would see my pictures on the computer, my mom who would give me the real talk break down of her interpretation of what the judges were really saying and a host of friends and family that would pray and encourage me throughout.
Photographer: Dajuan Jones of In His Image Photograpy @ http://www.dajuanjones.com
Natural Hair Stylist: Taji Shabu Jones @ http://www.tajisalon.com
And what would you like to say to the Going Natural family?
To the Going Natural Family, thank you for those of you that took the time out of your day to vote for me, to leave an encouraging word and to make me your ANNM 2012. We are all beautiful. It's how you use it and what you do to lift up the next sister that counts. Peace and blessings.
As the winner Chassity will also receive the following products