New York, USA.
Tell us about yourself.
Hello, my name is Marissa, I am 18 years old. I am from New York and I love to sing and model! This year I really began to enter the modeling world, I have walked in NYFW twice, LAFW, MIAFW, and upcoming Paris Fashion Week.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to move the fashion industry in a way it has never been done. I want to start a fashion revolution, and normalize the idea of unique models. When I say unique, I mean, not the “normal” model standards. I want the petites to be able to walk the runway, I want models of all different ethnicities, heights, all shapes and sizes to be able to live out their dream as a model. I want to be a role model to others, that although I am 4’10” I am determined and passionate and I made it my mission to walk on the runway, and I have. I walked in NYFW (twice), LAFW, MIAFW and upcoming in PFW. My dream would be to help others achieve what they thought would be impossible and to change the fashion industry forever. I wish to inspire and transform the modeling industry. Being a petite model, it’s very difficult to find work, but I won’t let my height determine my future. I am here to stay, and here to empower everyone I meet.
What does it mean to be your own kind of beautiful?
“Being your own kind of beautiful” means an individual is living their life to the fullest while doing what they love for THEMSELVES. Whether or not it is accepted by society, just be you, and the rest will fall into place! If you do what you love, you will find happiness in everything you do and that’s special. Be yourself and you will begin to attract the right people, it’s crucial for your growth to be surrounded by people who love you, and who push you to be the best version of yourself. Don’t restrict your growth by not surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, your energy will bounce off each other and the things you guys will accomplish will be magical. That all stems from you being you, and that is such a beautiful thing.
Tell us about your modeling experience.
Over the past year, I have experienced and learned so much about the industry. I had so many amazing opportunities and experiences so far, and I have faced rejection as well. Rejection used to scare me, but I have realized that rejection is just a part of the modeling industry. Someone once told me not to think about all the positives that could come out of castings and auditions, but to remind myself that I may not get picked to walk in a show. Thinking about the negatives, a little more than the positives keeps me hungry, driven and grounded. I went through some difficult no’s, and I’ve come to realize that ‘no’s’ are perfectly okay. Yes, it could be frustrating at times, but that means a new door is opening filled with new opportunities. When you prepare yourself for the worst, when something good comes out, the feeling is so amazing. My experiences thus far have been incredible, and I feel blessed to continue to follow my dreams daily. A big thing for me is to remind myself that if I tried my best, there is nothing else I could do. When something doesn’t go as I hoped, I am just being redirected onto a new path.
What is your dream brand to model for?
I would love to model for Givenchy and Dior, those are dream brands for me!
How would you describe your fashion style?
I wear basically everything, anything from boho, edgy, to sophisticated. It really depends on my mood that day, I love trying out new styles!
How important is self-awareness and confidence to you in your everyday life?
Self-Awareness, and confidence is so important in my everyday life. In this industry you have to be confident, and you must be conscious about what choices, and decisions you’re making. I would say I am confident, but not overly confident, because sometimes that could appear to come off arrogant, so I find that happy medium. Knowing yourself is super important, because at the end of the day you’re influencing people so you want to be sure you personally agree with what you’re representing.
What makes you beautiful?
I think what makes me beautiful is my soul. I care so much about others, and I enjoy making people happy. Also, something about myself that I find important, is how I dress. Not meaning my style, but the reason why I dress the way I do. I think everyone heard the phrase “Who are you dressing up for?” I know I hear that a lot and my answer is, “for myself.” I decide to wear makeup and dress up because I want to, and not for anyone else. Many people are afraid of what others will think because they are scared of judgment. But, individuality to me is important, I never want to be a follower in my life or in my career. If you want to wear something that may be “different” to others, who cares, do what you love. I’m a big enthusiast for people feeling amazing in their style and clothing choices. Style is something that should express you, not oppress you.
What would you say to another girl your age who is struggling with their confidence?
I would say don’t compare yourself to anyone, it is so easy for someone to pretend to be happy on social media, though you never really know how they’re feeling. So I would never compare someone else’s lifestyle to your own because you never truly know. If you’re struggling with confidence, find something you LOVE about yourself (I know you have something) and remind yourself you’re beautiful every day. Be your biggest fan, self-care and self-love is important and never think that means you’re being overly obsessed with yourself. Loving yourself should never be confused with cockiness or self-indulgent. When I say self-love I mean, don’t beat yourself up over aspects of yourself. You should embrace everything your momma gave you because you’re completely YOU and no one can take that away. As you grow, you will learn so much about yourself, so be in tune with your feelings and mind. Learning about yourself helps with confidence big time. My one big message is please do not compare yourself to anyone, I know it is easier said than done, but remember you’re beautiful and someone loves you very much. Give yourself credit for the amazing soul you are and don’t forget to give yourself a compliment every once in a while.