Nikia of Model Liberation is a force to be reckoned with. She embodies femininity and balance, and her love for people and heart for those around her is so lovely to experience. A few months ago we met before sunrise with my sweet hair + make-up friend Amy Clarke + we brought in the day with laughter, singing, and getting to know each other…oh ya + taking pictures!
Enjoy getting to know this lovely woman’s heart + soul!
A few weeks ago, I celebrated a birthday. Whenever this momentous time rolls around, I get a little sad. Not because I’m slowly losing my youth. That part doesn’t bother me. I’m looking forward to growing older and wiser, at least I hope that’s what happens. I think I get melancholy on my birthday because I’m still not where I want to be in accepting myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love me. I love that freckled reflection I see in the mirror. I love the spirit I exude. What I don’t adore are the ugly insecurities I’m still battling from yesteryear. They never go away. Even now, my eyes are puffy from some horrible moments I had just last night. So I’m avoiding looking at myself because I won’t feel beautiful when I see the sad reality that is my swollen, red face.
I go through rough patches every now and then. There are times when I look the same as the day before but my soul isn’t strong enough to convince me that I am just as beautiful as ever. It’s not like I have a huge zit or I’ve gained weight, but somehow no outfit looks right and no color of lipstick will brighten up my day. You know what I mean, right? I feel like so many women experience this same thing and we can’t figure out exactly what’s the problem.
For me, I guess I’m still hearing those voices that I did as a kid that said “you’re ugly” or “you look weird.” Growing up in the South didn’t make things easy for me. In that place, people are either black or white. I’m African American, but my skin is pretty fair and I have tons of freckles. I didn’t fit into whatever cookie-cutter definition others had of what it means to be black, so I was picked on because of it. Some of my peers treated me like I was an alien. No matter how much my mom told me I was pretty, I didn’t feel that way. I would curl up in her lap and cry whenever I had a bad day at school. Now that I’m an adult, I can’t run home to mommy. I’ve got to deal with things myself.
I know that there’s probably a good reason I was born with the features I have. My spiritual upbringing tells me that God doesn’t make mistakes. If He created us in his image, then God has a face full of freckles. He already knows what I’ve been through and what’s in store for me. I hope it’s good. Scratch that… I know it’s awesome! I just have to make it through those birthdays and bad days. I’m only human, so of course things won’t always be rosy. Appearing to be have all my ducks in a row is a burden I placed on myself. I have to learn to accept both the stronger me and the weaker me. By no means am I perfect, and I don’t have to be. I’ve got to learn to love me even when I’m flawed. I must find the beauty in my imperfections. That time is coming soon… I just got to have faith.
All Photos by Me: Kat Harris | Hair + Make-up: Amy Clarke