Tell our readers a little about you?
I am born in Cameroun where I lived for the first few years of my life before moving to Denmark with my family. In my free time I like to hang out and enjoy good food with my friends, I love to travel to different parts of the world. I would actually go as far as calling myself a travel-junkie. Everyone in my family knows! (Laughs) I think they’ve given up on me. I am also a great fan of sports; I love outdoor sports such as hiking and diving and doing Bodycombat at the gym. One of the things that I would love to take on this year is photography.
How did you start modelling, did someone see you on the walking street and the person was like there she is! The Danish Naomi?
(Laughs) The Danish Naomi!? I am quite lucky that modeling came to me by chance more than anything else, really. One of my closest friends’ fiancé is an impeccable photographer who was looking for dark-skinned models for a photo shoot and he asked her to ask me whether I would be interested. I remember having to think it through because I can be very shy and I am overall a very private person. So after a few thoughts, I decided to do it and that is basically how it started. I did a couple of shoots with the same photographer, by myself and with different artists too. I invested in a portfolio in which I put all my pictures and after I had accumulated a good handful of pictures I contacted different modeling agencies.
Are you working for an agency?
Yes, I am signed with an agency. I had been rejected by most. I will say that there are different types of modeling agencies and casting bureaus out there that are very interesting and that welcome different types of models. There are lots of modeling agencies such as Unique Models, Elite Model Management, Scoop Models that all take on models that are characterized as catwalk models. These are models that fit the requirements in terms of weight and height. I, on the other hand, do not look like a typical model, as I am short to begin with (according to catwalk model standards) and my legs do not go on for days. I am only 168 cm tall!!! Body wise, I will characterize myself more as a fitness model. However, there are also other types of modeling agencies such as Basic Cph that are less stringent about the height, as long as they see that there is some potential for you in the market. As a model you are a commodity and you should be able to sell, therefore, it’s important that you are marketable. Magazines are always looking for a bit of everything, so if you fit their demand, you may just get a job. I have been very lucky to have been signed and have had some very interest modeling assignments which ranged from magazine shoots, TV commercials to being a prototype for a 3D character in a video game. I have had so much fun with it and have been very grateful.
How did you feel the first time you saw your pictures in a Danish Magazine?
I was SO excited and nervous. One of my biggest and official photo shoots for a magazine was for Danish renowned music magazine Soundvenue. It was awesome and I couldn’t believe that it was being sold everywhere. I remember buying 2 copies for myself in 7Eleven in Amager, Copenhagen. It was amazing, it somewhat felt like a stamp of approval in some way and a personal achievement for myself.
How was it to enter into a world that mostly only uses white girls as models did you find any difficulties?
(Laughs) If it’s difficult?!!! Let’s just say that it’s anything but easy. Denmark is a country that has yet to be used to having foreigners. Unlike the UK or France, Denmark has never had any significant colonies of color whose habitants migrated to Denmark and makes up part of the demography. Therefore, when you go to magazine stands most of the girls on the cover are blonde haired, bleu-eyed with less voluptuous bodies. That is our reality as black girls here and that is what we have to identify with. I am so happy that we have the internet to get inspiration from the US and the UK from everything from how to treat afro-hair, how to moisturize ashy skin and how to dress and still be sexy when you have a ka-dunk-ka-dunk, full booty, hips and thighs.
Modeling in Denmark is not easy for black models. There is still a barrier that has to be overcome as we do not cater to the mass. However, in the US or the UK the market is completely different. I was once called in for a photo shoot where I was the only black and “short” model and I had to work with 5 other white models that were tall and were booked from the “big” modeling agencies. Again by chance, they booked me because they wanted to use a black girl and they had previously worked with another black girl two consecutive times prior to that who was taller than me, but this time they wanted a new face and they used me, even though I wasn’t tall enough but I could fit the clothes and work my short legs (smile).
I have also contacted other potential magazines and pitched in on why they should use dark-skinned black models, however, I felt that they were listening, but nothing really came of it. Unfortunately, it will take some time for, but I believe that if the right Danish “Naomi” came along with the right attitude, she will probably break these barriers.
What would you say to an African girl that wants to have a career has a model in Scandinavian?
I would encourage her and tell her to go for it if that is her dream. From a personal point of view I would also encourage girls to look within themselves and to really think about what they are good at and do just that and likewise tell them to first and foremost to love themselves. Modeling is tough and you will be judged constantly. Therefore, it is important to be mentally strong and have a good support system and to know who you are. From a professional point of you I would say that it is important that we acknowledge facts and reality of life. God made us all beautiful in different ways and he created different types of girls. Some of us are just not model material, but that does not make us less attractive. I find it sad that in these times a lot of personal recognition stems from whether or not you’ve been on TV or whether you are a model. That should not define us or our beauty in any way. Some models would even be define as less attractive due to their quirkiness and their unconventional beauty, however they have something special when they are on camera. And vice versa, you have beautiful girls, whose beauty just does not transcend on camera. Therefore, it’s important to first look at yourself in the mirror and know your beauty, your flaws, your strengths and your weaknesses. Once you have a good idea of it, the sky is the limit.
For an African girl who wishes to model in Scandinavia, I would advise her to ally herself with a good professional photographer, take good pictures, create a portfolio and contact different agencies based on where she will fit it. If you are over 174cm tall and thin, contact such agencies as Scoop Models. If you are shorter go for the casting bureaus or modeling agencies that use regular people. Study their websites look at the types of models that they have and see if you fit it and call them. We could sure use more beautiful sisters in magazines.