It seems as though every little girl's dream is to be beautiful beyond limits. Expensive, luxurious clothing... All eyes on them, perfect | f l a w l e s s | skin... Well, former Howard University student, Rushell Medley is living out her dream one photo at a time. Not only is she a well known, and well respected hair stylist, Ms. Medley is also a phenomenal model. Mostly doing gigs in the DC area, Ms. Medley will undoubtedly expand her horizons. Once told in New York that her thighs are too thick for runway modeling this only encouraged her fierce attitude to be on one-hundred and ten percent.
America's Next Top Model - Straight Outta DC!
What inspired you to do hair?
I remember exactly when it was, I was in 3rd grade. My mother stopped doing my hair, since then I had to do it all by myself. I moved to America in 1998 from Jamaica, once I saw all the different styles, diversity in hair types, and embellishments to hair I was intrigued. I did my research and got better and better. I started doing my own braids and extensions at a very young age which drew people to my talent and creativity. Then my clients started rolling in. This truly is one of my passions.
VogueD: What are the most challenging aspects of modeling?
The most challenging aspect of modeling is the stigma that comes behind African American models. It truly is a ruthless field which very few African American women prevail as more than a glamour or nude model. African American women are naturally thicker, curvy, and fuller than the typical Caucasian woman. Most high fashion designers are not of African American decent, therefore high fashion designers cater to women of less frame, curves, and weight to fit their clothing. Most high fashion runway models are of Caucasian, Asian and European decent. Me being a model and hearing that I can never walk on a New York runway because I am too curvy, thick, or full, stabbed all of my dreams of becoming a high fashion runway model. But it also fueled the fire to go harder because I hate hearing "NO."
Do you ever feel as if it's harder to pursue your dreams being an African American woman?
Like my previous statement, being African American definitely makes it much harder pursue and be recognized in this industry. If you look through a high fashion magazine like Vogue or Elle the most recognized and photographered women wearing designer clothes are white or of European decent, really thin with long hair. Bureberry is one of the few designers that advertise mainly African American models. African Americans that are adversity are really thin, dark skin tone with all natural hair or light skinned with long hair, rarely anything in between. I believe if an African American models really wants to make it: her talent, determination, passion, and drive will take her far. "You must have a thick skin and stand firm to who you are without compromise."
If you could share any advice with young women what would it be?
I myself being a young woman is still seeking advise for myself. But to anyone out there trying to start out; find a rolemodel and study her, her past, her methods, her accomplishments, just her whole story and why she did it. I researched all those before me, all those who made it. You have to know others stories for inspiration but also for their knowledge on the field to better yourself. You can just hop out there because your beautiful and expect everyone to recognize you. Its the talent, drive and passion in you that brings you far. You have to know people and have a contagious attitude because "Your attitude determine your altitude." Just be yourself and always better yourself.