New Jersey, USA
Tell us about yourself.
Hi! My name is Makena and I am 13 years old and live in Southern New Jersey. I'm in 8th grade and am an all star cheerleader year round and love to play field hockey in the fall! I also love to travel all over the world but my favorite place will always be Walt Disney World. I think it might be my second home!
What is your biggest dream?
I don't think I'm quite sure yet what I want to be when I grow up but I do know that I absolutely love to work with animals. I also think that it would be so fun to work for the Disney Corporation in some capacity...I'm still trying to figure that out :)
What does it mean to be your own kind of beautiful?
I have always loved this message so this question is really important to me! There should never be one type of look that should be considered beautiful because in reality we are all beautiful in our own unique way. I think everyone should feel like they can take whatever cards they are dealt and own it because that will then inspire others that maybe felt insecure about being "different" and it will be a ripple effect of confidence!
Tell us about your modeling experience.
I started pursuing my dream to model in the summer of 2018 by working with some athletic/cheerleading companies and everything just took off from there. I absolutely love that I have found a way to continue my sport and represent brands that really represent me! Currently I do a lot of social media and catalog work for a global cheerleading uniform and apparel company and even appeared in their latest Look Book catalog. I also work with a professional haircare company and a cosmetics company, as well as some other small athletic/fitness related businesses.
What is your dream brand to model for?
I think my dream brand would be to model for the lifestyle companies that really represent me and my style so brands like Nike, Hollister, Tilly's, Forever 21, Pink, rue21, PacSun.
How would you describe your fashion style?
My everyday style is pretty casual and laid back. I'm a beach girl so I always go for the surfer vibe!
How important is self-awareness and confidence to you in your everyday life?
Confidence is so important so I am always trying to make sure I stay positive and not get too hard on myself. That's one big lesson I learn in cheerleading because we fail (and fall) a lot and there's no time to dwell on the situation. No matter what happens, you have to have the confidence to pick yourself right up and move on.
What makes you beautiful?
I think my greatest quality that makes me beautiful is my ability to smile and make people feel comfortable around me. Being kind and humble goes a long way especially when making a first impression.
What would you say to another girl your age who is struggling with their confidence?
Middle school is hard and kids can be really mean, sometimes without even realizing it. I think confidence really comes from within and it can be a daily struggle if others are always trying to bring you down. My best advice is to just "find your tribe." There are people that will always support you through and through and if you don't know any right now then you have to keep looking. Believe in yourself and believe in your worth. True friends are sometimes hard to come by but once you find them and feel like you belong, your confidence will soar.