We are thrilled to have been able to work with model, Nikia Phoenix not once, but TWICE this year! She is such an inspiration as a model that stands for more than just beauty in the way our world may define it today! We find it very important to work with women (and men) who believe in the strength of women, and have a heart to work together to help bring human trafficking to an end. So today we are brining you an interview with model, freedom fighter, and creative thinker, Nikia Phoenix of Model Liberation!
1.When did you start modeling and what made you move to LA?
This journey started close to 10 years ago when I moved to Los Angeles. I relocated here from the East coast for a number of reasons, but the top one being why not LA?! There’s opportunities, entertainment, fashion, and obviously great weather. A few months after arriving, I started modeling professionally.
2. What is it like, being a model living in LA?
My experiences as a LA model probably differ so much from what other models say. There are times when I’m running around to tons of castings and auditions, and other times that I’m literally just working on projects of my own like my blog. I’m working around the clock because I love to create. I will say, it’s kind of cool when people recognize you from the work you do.
3. When you are not modeling, what are you up to?
I like to live life to its fullest which sometimes means just staying at home with my cat and a latte.
4. I know your faith is very important to you and how you represent yourself. Tell us a bit about that!
Religion and spirituality can be such touchy subjects. But I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am if I I didn’t have my faith. There are a number of things that I’m anxious about or afraid of, and believing that a higher power is looking out for me helps me get through. It allows me to release my stress and anguish. My faith challenges me to push harder even when I’m worn out. I know there is a force bigger than me that unites us all, and that puts my soul at ease.
5. What is the intersection between the work you do and your faith?
I enjoy putting my heart into my work. If I’m doing it, then I believe in it. While it’s important to earn a paycheck, it’s just as important to have integrity. Sure I can do editorials and ads that are edgy and push the envelope, but it has to have a point. I want to look over my body of work and be proud of what I’ve accomplished instead of being ashamed. Having a strong faith lights my career path for me and allows me to help others through my job.
6. How did you find out about International Princess Project?
I first heard about International Princess Project when photographer Michelle Kim asked if I wanted to model for PUNJAMMIES™. I looked into it, and really fell in love with the message and the mission.
7. Where does your heart and desire to help end human trafficking come from?
I believe that every human being should have equal opportunities despite age, gender, race, economic status, and all the rest. Unfortunately many of our young girls are not given the same respect and bad people try to strip them of their dignity. If you have a voice, it’s important to speak up for those who can’t. That’s why I stand behind International Princess™ Project. Someone has to support the victims of human trafficking, and let them know there’s something bigger and better out there for them than the injustices they’ve lived through. Sharing is caring.
8. How did you come up with the title of your blog?
The title of my blog came from a place of creativity, strength and empowerment. The word “model” was a given, but I needed the other half. I’m a freedom fighter, so I needed a name that reflected that. But it also couldn’t be something that would alienate people. When my friend Sam suggested “liberation” I got chills. I wanted the name of my blog to reflect what I do and who I really am. Just because some may view me as a glorified mannequin, I know that I am so much more. So with “Model Liberation” it’s not just about fashion and how cool I look in clothes, it’s also about what I do to liberate myself from the j-o-b. It’s therapy.
9. How do you define beauty?
Beauty has very little to do with physical appearance and more to do with your spirit. Someone can appear to have nice bone structure and a symmetrical face but maybe they’re not beautiful. I think that has a lot to do with the way you live, your personality, and how you treat others. You can be attractive on the outside and a mean person, and to me you’re not beautiful. Beauty is loving yourself and those around you. Beauty isn’t perfection. Beauty is accepting your flaws.