Growing up I was shy, didn’t know my own value, and was bullied.

I grew up in a military family so moving was the name of the game! I was born in Virginia, moved to New York when I was 4 years old, and not too many years later I moved to Florida, See? Lol I can say that each place has helped me to grow in such a huge way. I have learned many valuable lessons that I still appreciate today.

Honestly, if someone were to come up to me when I was younger and tell me that one day I would pursue modeling. I would have laughed.

Growing up I was shy, didn’t know my own value, and was bullied. I was also raised by a single mom so most of my focus was on making sure we were okay and just keeping it together. I think that’s why modeling means so much to me now; after my first photo shoot, I felt more empowered than ever.

Being in front of the camera, I was forced to confront my insecurities, and push myself to be confident.

I didn’t need to focus on anything else but claiming that moment as my own. I've made great strides to love myself and encourage others to do the same, and the best outlet for me is Modeling.

I did attend modeling courses for the first time this past year. It was an uplifting experience and helped me to learn more about the industry. My first goal is to one-day sign with “Wilhemina Models”. In recent years, I see that this agency has not been afraid to take risks. They are increasingly becoming more diverse, encouraging body positivity, and I would love to have the opportunity to represent them.

I especially want to encourage young black women. As a black woman myself, I know all too well that we are looked at as less beautiful, intelligent, bold and so much more. I know it is very important to use my modeling platform for good, I will make it my mission to silence those ideas and encourage each beautiful black woman to “slay” in all they do!

Aside from modeling, I am currently attending school to study Medical Billing and Coding. If you are a model who would prefer to work without an agency, there is nothing wrong with that.

I love traveling! If I had to choose one place right now, I would say…Panama! It may sound random but such a big part of my family is from there. I have heard so much about the culture, festivals, food and so much more ; to be able to do what I love and visit there would mean the world!

I would love to see the modeling industry become more diverse! To see the modeling industry ACTIVELY encouraging diversity and in result encouraging people to love themselves for the way they are.

My family and friends are very supportive of my career path. I am very blessed to have such a great foundation to keep me motivated and pushing!

Safety is extremely important for me and anybody who wants to pursue modeling. I know that when your modeling you are constantly hustling and looking for the next big opportunity. Being motivated is awesome but I make sure to use common sense in every situation. If you I have a bad feeling or sense that something is wrong I don't take the job. It is much better to protect yourself than get hurt. As a result of this I have yet to experience any inappropriate encounters, everyone has always been so sweet and professional.

Modeling and having a relationship can have its challenges but the same can also be said for many fields of work. You have to work at your relationship; discuss boundaries, be honest, and maintain an unbreakable foundation.

My height limits my success to a degree. Unfortunately, in most cases there is a standard that you must be at least 5’7(at the least) and up to have a chance of being signed. This can be frustrating; however, I know nothing is impossible.

If you are reading this and modeling is your passion. You may even feel like it would be nice but it’s not meant for you. I want you to silence those doubts, past obstacles…anything holding you back. You CAN conquer any obstacle if you work hard enough. Everyday there is a possibility that I could get a no at a casting call, gig, or job offer; but it is my triumphs that keep me going. I’m not going to let anything hold me back, why should you?

Please follow along with my journey at: I_am_natiera