Model Monday- Meet Crystal Renee
Crystal Renee moved from Indiana to New Jersey in December of 2016 with a dollar and a dream. Not having any family on the east coast didn’t stop her from quitting her comfortable job position to pursue the modeling industry. She started with reaching out to plus-size clothing companies on Instagram looking to collaborate. The body positive advocate spreads a message of encouragement in an industry lacking diversity. She promotes self-love by frequently wearing her natural hair. The petite plus-size model also works full-time at a publishing company with a goal to get signed to an agency.
What type of modeling do you do? How did you get started as a model? What’s an average work week like for you? I am a print/runway model. I primarily do beauty work. I started by reaching out to smaller plus-size brands in hopes to model for them. I work a 9-5 as an editorial assistant at a publishing company. When I get off work I typically spend a few hours submitting my work or reaching out for collaborations. My weekends are packed with either doing a photoshoot, going to a casting in the tri-state area, attending a plus-size event or spending hours submitting emails for collaborations.
What are some tips you’d like to share with aspiring influencers or models? If you are an aspiring model the number one thing to do is network! My tip is to find out who the major people are in the industry and connect with them. You will have to get out of your comfort zone and be prepared to take risks! A tip that has helped me is going to the events to actually meet the power players. Another tip is to always shoot new photos and post on social media. You will have to take the imitative to prosper, so don’t be afraid to email.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a little girl, what would you tell her? I would advise to not let my height detour me so long from modeling. I am 5’4 and was told I wouldn’t do runway and that I should look into acting instead. Modeling has been a passion for years! I would say don’t let critics get you discouraged from pursing modeling. That there is room to shine and it only takes one blessing to impact your entire life.
For our readers who struggle with being comfortable in their own skin and wearing what they want, what are some practical things you would recommend they do to help them get to the level of confidence you have? I would recommend the readers to wear the clothes that make your heart happy regardless of popular opinion. Because opinions are just that! They are not facts and the fact of you loving your style beats anyone’s negativity. You are beautiful, worthy and change starts with you. If there is something you want to change set up a plan and execute. Surround yourself with positive energy and likeminded individuals. End toxic relationships. The vibes you allow in your space have a big part to do with your confidence.
What does being an influencer or model mean to you? What do you hope it means to others? Being a model allows me to represent the minority. I am a petite plus-size person of color that is working diligently on breaking into the industry. Modeling allows me a platform to express myself creativity and motivate others to live in their truth. Modeling means following the dream I always wanted as a little girl. This form of art means overcoming adversity to inspire others to do the same.
What are your goals and dreams as an influencer or model? What accomplishments are you most proud of? My dream with modeling is to inspire others to take risks, love themselves and pursue their goals. My immediate goal is to get signed by an agency that will assist in the growth of my career and support my mission of body positivity. I am most proud of building my network from scratch, watching my hard work be recognized through collaborative opportunities and whenever a person says that I have inspired them.
What does beauty mean to you? To me beauty comes from within. Beauty is the support you give to others. It’s the shoulder to lean on when someone is in need. Beauty means being genuine with positive energy for even the people that want to see you lose.
From where do you draw inspiration for your work? My inspiration comes from my childhood. As a pre-teen I would watch America’s Next Top Model and want to be on the show. I would practice the walk and poses. I didn’t have the opportunity to model growing up in Indiana. My childhood motivated me to move and create. I visited New York City at 15 years old the first time and just knew I had to come back to make dreams a reality. I’m inspired by my journey and that’s why I give it my all.
Do you have a message you want to leave with our readers? My message is to fight for your passion. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in social media, work and negativity that we forget that each of us have a gift that should be shared. Once you start pursuing your talent/mission life will make more sense. Do not let the struggles of everyday life detour you from your passion.