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Modeling Demands More Than A Pretty Face…How Badly Do You Want It?



by Denise Y. Mose, Ph.D, Fashion Columnist


Models need more than a pretty face, but the ability to emote, like the one pensively pictured here. Photo by Robert Bejil.


Imagine exotic trips, designer clothes, and your face on the cover of millions of magazines. A great life, right? Both males and females want to be models because it’s glamorous, lucrative, and they will be recognized in the modeling world. However, modeling is extremely competitive and the industry is filled with rejection, and “paying your dues” to this unforgiving lifestyle. Conversely, the payoff is a lifetime of perks and profit. Successful models are doing something they love.

Want that life for yourself? Listen up: Dr. D offers six realities for making it in modeling. Here we go:


1. Health

Fresh organic salads like this help cleanse and ready your body for that dream photo shoot. Photo by Marawder (Flickr).


Take care of yourself. Eat and drink healthy foods and beverages. The better you take care of what goes inside your body, the better it will reflect on your skin. Go for simple walks and clear your head. Veggies, fruits, whole grains, and proteins should make up the basics of your diet. Sugars, starches, empty carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats should be avoided as much as possible. It’s a simple equation, but it’s harder than you might think to execute.


2. Make-up and Hair Care

The better your skin, the better the makeup job. Photo by Robert Bejil.


Focus on keeping your skin clear and glowing. Wash your face in the morning and at night, exfoliate once a week, and remember to always wash your make-up off before you go to sleep. Shiny and healthy hair is important. Some agencies and managers prefer the “natural look” so if you like this, it’s to your advantage.


3. Get In Shape

Fitness is important. Consider working with a trainer who works specifically with models. Tell them your modeling goals and how you want to look. Inject how you feel and your opinions. This is exactly what I did 6 years ago. I shared my goal with my personal trainer, Kevin R. Davis, and I’m still a chic size 6! Not bad for 41, right?


4. Educate Yourself

When I consult with clients who want to model, I am often insulted that they have not made the effort for an industry they claim to love. There is a lot you can learn from reading books and articles on modeling. Plus, check out the several shows dedicated to modeling on television. Reading quality guides and articles will both help you to improve important skills (like posing) and better understand how the industry works.


5. Hang in There

You are going into an industry where very few males or females make it! Realize that it’s tough. The modeling world is jam-packed with pretty faces. Just because you are good looking does not mean that you can succeed as a model. Sorry, but its true! In the modeling business, it is not just about looking great. You have to fit the need of specific jobs just to get a chance. Modeling is only for serious people who carry unique looks and characteristics. Since there are so many people trying to become models in today’s world, it’s very challenging to get a breakthrough and will only come with patience and perseverance.


6. Everyone is Not a Size 2

Curvy Indian model Niki is definitely not a size 2, but is equally stunning. Photo by David Long.


Decide what kind of model you hope to be. Technically, anybody can be a model. However, do remember that if you don’t meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited, and you may have to compensate in other areas.


Well, there it is. Modeling professionally will put you in several places. Just make sure you’ve done your homework. Get that passport ready and go for it!

Dr. D is here for you — one wardrobe at a time!



Image sources:
Young model in black leather jacket: Robert Bejil Photography (Flickr)

Organic salad: Marawder (Flickr)

Young model in profile close up: Robert Bejil Photography (Flickr)

Curvy model reclined: David Long (Flickr)



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Journalist, entrepreneur, speaker, media personality, and life and etiquette coach Dr. Denise Y. MoseAbout the Author:
Denise Y. Mose, Ph.D is the owner/creator of Simply D Perfume and Beauty Bath and Body Line, and hosts the Urban America Today Talk Show. She is also a sought-after red carpet host, having been invited to cover the Grammys, Emmys, Kentucky Derby, and world-famous New York Fashion Week. Dr. Mose is an authority on education, beauty/fashion, career coaching and etiquette. Her third book, The Guilt-Free Guide to Fashion, is currently on bookshelves nationwide. The American Image Consultant Association seeks her advice on wardrobe and fashion seminars.



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2020 Election

[OPINION] American Heart, Mind, and Soul



The most beautiful flag in the world.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – I relish the joy and honor of being an American in the face of disease, destruction, and disaster.

Like most Americans, I come from a family of immigrants. My great-grandparents first moved to the United States nearly 70 years ago, and I am the third generation to be born here.

My great-grandfather left for the United States from Cuba in the late 1950s. He was lucky, he managed to leave the country before Castro stepped in to power and transformed the beautiful island nation into a socialist disaster. He didn’t speak a lick of English, had little to no money, and arrived in a time when Jim Crow laws and segregation were still in existence. He worked every job he could find, slept wherever he could, and saved enough money until he could bring my great-grandmother from Cuba.

He finally settled into the NYC MTA as a bus driver, which he did until he retired with a pension. He and his wife built a family, bought a home, and have lived in New York ever since.

My entire family has stories like this, incredible tales of perseverance, hard work, and reward. My mother went on to become the first person in my family to graduate from college, to open businesses, and to become self-employed. My father was sent to the United States at 14 from Venezuela with $5 in his pocket. He worked full time in a factory and in restaurants, went to school full time, and eventually served in the military. Now he is an educator with two Masters degrees, a nice home and his own engineering workshop.

When I view America, I see it as what it truly is, the land of opportunity. It’s a land where anything is possible, where we are always moving forward, and where I am so proud to call my home.

I see my identity as two-fold. First and foremost, I am Christian and a son of God. He is my maker and carer and redeemer and everything else to me. Second, I’m American. I come from the land of the free and the home of the brave. My family is intertwined in the American story and have lived the American dream. My mindset and my passion are directed towards the principles America stands for: conservatism, liberty, equality, justice, ingenuity, determination.

Rick Singh for Orange County Property Appraiser ad banner

My identity is not in my race or my gender. It’s not in my career or my friendships. It’s certainly not in my political party or social group. My identity is in God and in the United States of America.

The pride and passion I feel for my nation are beyond words, and it pains me to see so many people today turn from our history, our ideals, and our fundamental truths. People are trying to change the very fabric of our society without realizing what a gift of a nation we’ve been given.

Yes, America has made mistakes. It had the misfortune of arising in a world where slavery was commonplace. But I don’t judge America for the existence of slavery. I judge it by the fact we ended slavery within only a few generations of our inception. I judge it by the 50,000 men who died to preserve the Union.

I don’t judge our nation because of long held racist views and mindsets, I judge it by the Civil Rights Movement and the progress we have made and see today.

Whatever problems America has had, the beauty of our nation is we always work to fix them. On this Earth we will never be truly equal, just, and free. That is reserved for Heaven. But it is our job to come as close to it as possible, and that is what we have done as a nation and what we continue to do today.

When I think of famous Americans: Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Lincoln, Tubman, Anthony, Douglass, Roosevelt, Ford, King, Armstrong, Disney, Graham, Jobs, and so many more, I’m inspired and gratified that we share the same national bond. We salute the same flag, we fight for the same ideals, we know the same God. It’s an incredibly rewarding perspective to have.

I hate the term “person of color”. I am just a person, an American. I am not oppressed or disadvantaged or down on my luck because I am Hispanic. The American Dream is for everyone as long as you embrace, uphold, and live by the ideals we were founded on. You have to have an American heart, mind, and soul. You have to see the world through eyes of liberty and justice, you have to approach your work and education with an understanding of personal responsibility and independence, you have to see society in a way that is adaptive to change and progress, but not overriding basic conservative values.

Being an American is an awesome responsibility. We carry the legacy of the greatest nation in the history of the world. As Americans, it is our duty to make our country better than we found it, while teaching our children about the opportunity and glory of our nation’s people and history.

We are the richest, most just, most free society in all of history. We care for and protect the world, we innovate and create like no one else. We’ve been blessed as nation and as a people by God.

Feel pride in being American, love your nation and its history, and fight for a future that is even brighter than our past.


God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.
Marcos Barrios is a Florida National News contributing writer. The avid writer and musician is passionate about politics and entertainment in Florida and abroad.

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[OPINION] Give the Choice of Education to Families, Not Politicians



Classrooms, empty for months, brace for decisions on education in the fall.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Families and teachers know what’s best for them, give them the choice between online and traditional school.

I recently learned I will not be allowed to return to my college campus this upcoming fall semester. A devastating culmination to a bitter freshman year.

Leaving college for Spring Break with only a backpack, I, as did most students, felt entirely confident I would be returning in two weeks time. Instead, I received a message that I would have to stay home for an additional two weeks.

I was excited! Two extra weeks of no classes, family time, and sleeping in.

Except those two weeks turned into a month. And then to three months.

I finished my freshman year experience living on Zoom. Gone were the clubs and dances and friends and sports and trips. Gone were the libraries and gyms and dining halls. I spent my days watching recorded lectures, drudging through virtual meetings, and trying to maintain some kind of scheduled social relationship with friends.

Often, I would spend nine hours at a time sitting at my computer in Zoom calls. Every week, my attention diminished, my motivation dried up, and my grades slipped. I finished the semester mentally exhausted, and disappointed about the lost time and experiences.

And to make things worse, my entire dorm room, with my wardrobe, textbooks, instruments, and everything else I had brought to college, laid in tantalizing wait back on campus, halfway across the country.

I still have not received my belongings. Five months later.

The hope of returning to campus in the fall was what I relied upon to help get me through the semester. The hope of some sense of normalcy. And to have that taken away, to not have been given a choice on the matter, was quite a blow.

People deserve the right to choose the future of their education.

In Orange County Public Schools, the debate is roaring on how, when, and in what capacity schools can reopen. I think the answer is pretty obvious, and suggesting anything else complicates an already stressful and unwanted situation.

It is a simple decision to make. OCPS and Florida already have the capabilities for traditional and virtual school, let students and teachers decide strictly between the two.

Let all who wish to return to a normal full time school schedule be allowed to. There are countless reasons why a return to traditional school is a great solution.

For one, students need the consistency of a classroom setting. Teachers need an actual environment to teach in. Infection and transmission rates for children and young teenagers are incredibly low. Schools provide jobs for not only teachers, but administration, janitors, lunch ladies and police officers. Students want and need the social bonds and experiences school provides.

And maybe most importantly, sending kids back to school will allow parents to go back to work full time, giving lifeblood to our croaking economy.

Of course, safety is a priority, and a school may decide whether and how strictly it will enforce masks and social distancing rules in an attempt to be as safe as possible. But those decisions should be made at the school level, where input from parents and faculty are most direct. At the end of the day, anyone who chooses to return to school understands the risks associated, and is willing to take them.


Let all who are worried about the coronavirus, who are especially prone, or who prefer an online education, feel free to enroll in Orange County Virtual School or Florida Virtual School full time. These are systems already equipped with full online curricula, qualified teachers, and a history of success.

Any teachers, especially the elderly or sick, who don’t feel comfortable teaching in the classroom, should be allowed to transition to OCVS or FLVS in a quick and timely manner.

This option works great for a lot of people, and should be encouraged to those who can afford and successfully commit to it. However, many minorities and impoverished families simply can’t afford this kind of sacrifice. To force online education, as many school districts around the nation are doing, would be a kind of discrimination in and of itself.

And what should definitely not be discussed is a kind of mixed curriculum, with children splitting time between school and home, and between online and in person learning styles. First, talk about the scheduling nightmare for parents who have to find child care for the days children are at home. Secondly, teachers will find it incredibly challenging to develop a consistent and effective curriculum when they have students all over the place, sometimes with them, sometimes with their parents, some online and others in the classroom.

Not only is there not enough time to develop any sort of effective plan of action, but it would make the school year substantially harder for students, parents, and teachers.

If the desire of OCPS and all schools is to do what’s best for the child, it’s in the children’s, parent’s, and teacher’s best interest to be given a clear choice on their education. Let each and every family decide what is right for them, not government agencies and district school boards dictating what can and will be done, as we have seen colleges do.

Coronavirus has already taken a lot from us. Let people, not politicians, weigh the risks and rewards of their decisions concerning their education.

I didn’t get to choose, I hope you all can.


Marcos Barrios is a Florida National News contributing writer and college student. The avid writer and musician is passionate about politics and entertainment in Florida and abroad.

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Through a Glass Dimly: Our Self-Image Problem and How to Fix It



by Mellissa Thomas

Let’s be honest. Not all women like themselves. In fact, most don’t, especially those in the U.S. Beauty’s definition has so been distilled to facial features and lady lump dimensions, that the only beauty left of beauty is the word itself. While we adore looking through glamour, beauty, and women’s magazines and websites, we inadvertently soak in the pervading paradigm of thin supremacy. According to social action site, thinness has become not only the symbol of beauty, but of success, self-control, and wealth.

While fashion is fun, do we really consider its consequences?


Under the Influence

Dove’s website shares that only 4% of women worldwide call themselves beautiful, and Kappa Delta Sorority’s Confidence Coalition relays that 90% of women want to alter at least one aspect of their physical appearance.

Not surprisingly, this has been an issue for decades now. Even studies in the eighties revealed that only 5% of the women in the U.S. have the super-slim body types in those ads and photos (which are mostly made slim through Photoshop these days), and that body “ideal” is actually 13-19% lower than a healthy body weight.

The problem seeps into other areas of everyday function as well. In a 1998 study, college students were asked to try on and evaluate either a sweater or a swimsuit, then consequently took a math test for ten minutes while wearing the garment. The study revealed that the young women wearing the swimsuit performed more poorly than the ones wearing the sweater, while the young men in the study saw no cognitive changes.

A 2007 experiment saw 10-17-year-olds pitching a softball at a distant gym wall. The girls who objectified themselves were more self-conscious, and therefore threw more poorly than the ones who didn’t.

It’s no wonder we see so many girls slump into mental illness and eating disorders: depression, anorexia (not eating at all), bulimia (binging then purging), or binging. We can all agree something’s wrong when 81% of ten-year-olds fear being fat.

However, while the evidence is stacked sky-high against the media for our prevailing self-image problem among women, there’s one key cog in the machine that makes or breaks a young woman’s destiny.



Our Image Problem Solution

One plus one.

It really is that simple: all it takes is a relative, a friend, a church member, a professional counselor, or a stranger willing to mentor.

There is power in having just one person in your corner, or, better yet, being that one person in someone else’s corner. Our current image problem goes deep: low self-esteem due to taunting in school, bullying and cyber-bullying, and a dysfunctional, abusive, or broken home can leave a girl reeling, seeking to fill a gap she doesn’t realize she has without knowing what to fill it with. It is those deeper issues that manifest into body hatred, and ultimately cause young girls to engage in risky behaviors in an effort to feel wanted.

Having at least one source of encouragement makes a huge difference — and not just digitally. There are plenty of inspiring quotes all over the Internet, but they make a lasting impression when sincerely spoken from a person’s lips, accompanied by a shoulder rub or hug. Young girls and women the world over need affirmation. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign has been offering something like this for years now, incorporating women of all colors, ages, and shapes in their ads and on social media.

Here’s how partnering up rectifies the problem:

1) A positive partner helps overhaul a young woman’s life for toxic habits, people, and thoughts.

2) Once those are identified, a partner can help her set goals to free herself of them, leaving room to grow and appreciate herself. That can be a long and perhaps repetitive process, but reaps infinite benefit in the end.

3) The young woman’s held accountable. The partner makes sure she stays on track to meet her goals, constantly reminding her of the truth when she’s tempted to give up or revert to self-loathing.

4) Ultimate apotheosis: the partner brings the young woman to a point at which she understands that fashion is an art form and is to be enjoyed as such instead of being taken literally, especially given the now very obvious photo editing (like the Buzzfeed video above). Once that separation is successfully made, she’ll be free to love herself.

Want to help? Search for women or girls’ support groups, such as, Girl Scouts of America, Confidence Coalition, or your local YMCA/YWCA, and volunteer. Share your personal journey and the steps you’ve taken to improve your self-image.

Looking for help? First and most importantly, speak up. Ask friends or family to help you on your quest. You can research the organizations listed above, but the key is to stay local. To have an idea of who to look for, research someone who’s doing what you’re passionate about. If that person is a celebrity or someone seemingly unreachable, find someone who’s doing the same thing locally and reach out directly via email or social media (frequently commenting on the things they share and on blog posts).

You may have to do that with more than one person you wish to reach, by the way. People are busy, but that doesn’t make you unimportant. It simply means you have to push for progress.

So while the media shows no plans to change its image of skinny perfection any time soon, the good news is it doesn’t have to end there in a girl’s or woman’s mind. She needs only look away from the magazine or ad for a moment to see, with help, who she really is and that who she really is offers far more than the image she compares herself to.


What are your thoughts? Do you know someone who is struggling with this, perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself? Let’s chat in the comments.


Jennifer Lawrence image courtesy of The Unknown But Not Hidden blog.



Mellissa Thomas headshotAbout the Author:
Orlando Fashion Magazine Chief Editor Mellissa Thomas is a Jamaica-born writer. She’s a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with Entertainment Business Masters and Film Bachelors degrees from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.

Thomas co-authored her latest book, “Faded Diamonds,” with master social workers Camille Burke and Stacey Pacouloute. The novel chronicles five young women’s internal struggles with self-hatred, abuse, and mental illness; and releases on and all digital devices January 25, 2014.



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