Wow! I can’t believe that this was the last challenge of the competition. I am sad to see it all come to an end but I had so much fun along the way. Even though this challenge was the most difficult because there was so many different components to it, it was definitely my favorite one.
Image 1: Anxiously Awaiting
After realizing that I would be in America’s Next Natural Model 2013 I was ecstatic but also as I thought about the time commitment anxiety slowly set in. I was in Vermont, which to find photographers willing to help was going to be scarce, my mother who was neater and could of help with hairstyling was miles away, my boyfriend who is the biggest supporter of my natural hair journey and who would do anything he could to help if needed help me take pictures had left college for clinical. Finally to top it off being vice president for the Black Student Union had a great deal of responsibilities coming up because Black History Month and our signature Fashion Show would occur during the same weeks of the challenges. Slowly I began to think, “What did I get myself into? Should I have waited until I had graduated? Will I honestly be able to handle this at the moment?”
This is why wearing clothing that accurately portrays the power, beauty, and class of a Black woman is so important. We need to plant those seeds of identity that say ‘we are powerful, beautiful, strong, and valuable’ in our community to combat the lies that say ‘we are powerless, ugly, feeble, and worthless.’’ When our women conform to these outrageous lies, it perpetuates the cycle of violence, crime, miseducation, and poverty in our community. We can’t wait around for someone else to redirect our lost queens and kings tomorrow, we need to do it ourselves today.
“Evolution of Farah” Photographer:
I was a member of the going-natural.com because I wanted to know other naturals, learn from their experiences, hair journeys and the tips and tricks that they could give me to help me with my own journey. Looking through the website I saw America’s Next Natural Model, and intrigued I clicked on the link and looked at all the model’s beautiful pictures showcasing the various challenges. Unfortunately I had missed the deadline twice, and I was extremely determined to get into the next round!
For the last five pictures, I really wanted to represent me. After completing this competition to the end I feel on top of the world which is represented by my pictures on the rooftop.
The ones on the roof and with the pretty wallpaper were also shot by Vanessa Karel. It was amazing to shoot on top of a roof in San Francisco. It was a very liberating experience. In most of these photos I wore my hair in a combed out afro style.
The importance of clothing that accurately portrays a Black woman
The theme for my shoot is “New Orleans beads for SoulSeed Tees.” I incorporated Mardi Gras beads into each of the shots. I chose this theme because I see a lot of similarities between the representation of my city in the media and that of Black women. When people think of New Orleans, Mardi Gras is one of the first things that comes to mind. It’s seen as a tourist stop, a place that only matters during that time of the year. New Orleans is also feared for its crime. In a nutshell, what I hear from the average tourist is “New Orleans is a great place for a party and a good time, but if you want a nice place to live, choose elsewhere.”
Hello again ladies,
Now, before I tell you or post the results online, I want you to know what the judges decided first. So without further ado, here is what Dajuan Jones said:
I feel compelled to acknowledge how tough this years competition has been. These ladies have met each challenge, overcoming so much for each contestant with various duties, hurdles, and circumstances along the way. Adding to that, trying to grow each week in order to better there individual abilities, while also competing against each other. I commend each and every sister for her participation.