Category Archives: Season 4

ReShonda Parker

ReShonda Parker

I got my first relaxer at the age of 13. Prior to that, my hair was completely natural and it was long and thick. I wanted to be like my peers and would envy the things that their hair could do. Back then, i didn’t realize my hair’s potential. Relaxers became a ritual for me, every time i would see a wave i would smother it with the “creamy crack”. I used curling irons, flat irons and spritzes that would make my hair stand at attention in a hurricane! I thought my hair looked good…it might have, but i was severely damaging it with every appliance and chemical i used.

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Chassity on You Better Work!!!

Chassity on You Better Work!!!

You Bettah Work!

Modeling is an industry where black women have always been on the back burner. We are slowly but surely making our presence known to the industry.  Models like Beverly Johnson, Alec Wek and Iman have been able to show the world our wide array of beautiful features. The fact is that because of the complexity of our ancestors, there is still lots of beauty to show this world of ours. We are all beautiful and come in many shades, sizes, and backgrounds. Let’s give them a taste of just what we are working with!!!

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Jalita on Damage

Jalita on Damage

In today’s society, Black hair has become synonymous to the word “damage”. I, as a black woman, can attest to this because I’ve experienced it, as did so many other sisters. Before I went natural, my hair was relaxed since the age of 5. Every month, I would burn my skin and scalp, leaving me with bald spots at the nape of my neck, for head, and the crown of my head. My junior year of high school, my hair could not sustain its self any longer and it began to fall out. It was getting shorter and shorter. When I got to college, my short hair cut inspired by Rihanna began to look like a birds nest due to the over processing and my beautiful new growth was hiding underneath it.

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Carlie – Slicked back into a flower

Carlie – Slicked back into a flower

This was a difficult challenge for me because I live in Oklahoma where it is currently 40 degrees so it was hard to imagine beach waves and colorful flowers. Sorry, no beach waves, or colorful flowers for me.  So I had to think of a way to demonstrate waves and flowers in my hair.  The style I came up with is a slicked back bun, where the bun is shaped into a flower.  The beach waves would be the waves that kinky hair makes when slicked back, and the flower would be the multi-layered bun.

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Dawn on Challenge 8

Dawn on Challenge 8

Dawn on Challenge 8
Dawn on Challenge 8

My favorite this week is Kala. Girl, you rocked it! You are so beautiful and I loved the poses. The black and white photo was so fierce and very professional.

For elimination, I chose Desyray. I wanted to more variety in poses. You presented all headshots, which I’m sure was to highlight the jewelry, however it would have been good to see how the accessories added to your entire look if you had half-body or full-body shots.

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ReShonda – The Maroon Women of Suriname

ReShonda – The Maroon Women of Suriname

One thing I have enjoyed the most about being a finalist in “The Next Natural Model” is being able to experience different things. This challenge was very interesting because I had the opportunity to learn about a community of people that were brave and courageous and reminded me of our American Harriet Tubman. The Maroons are the descendants of runaway slaves who escaped into the interior rain forests immediately upon their arrival in the English, later Dutch colony. I admire them because of their strength, pride and defiance. That is still evident in their culture today.

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Natasha: Celebrating Culture

Natasha: Celebrating Culture

This week’s challenge involved the styling and modeling of a headwrap. My choice of wearing the headwrap resulted in the style that is pictured in each of my photos. The style displayed was accomplished by the covering of the head and twisting the excess material into a layered side bun. Although I have worn head wraps before, it is not something that I do often. This challenge actually causes me to want to change that.

I am really looking forward to exploring the avenue of hair and head accessories. In years past, I would wear them frequently. I remember a time, when I had a wrap in just about every color you could think of. I would limit myself to only wearing them when I felt that I was having one of those days, where my hair and I could not seem to get along. I am not really been the one to cover my head much. Part of that reasoning being that I’ve always though my head was small and that it would seem to overtake the size of my head. As we were told that we would be celebrating cultural through this challenge, I must say that there’s a unique feeling of beauty that I perceived from this week’s mission. I felt so strong and regal. I am now ready to further explore the avenue of hair and head accessories on a more consistent basis.

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