The modeling industry is brutal.
It’s an industry that nitpicks, prods, and probes you. It’s no secret that the modeling industry is predominantly White (and thin). But it’s much more difficult for marginalized individuals to penetrate.
And for people whose dreams are to walk the runways and dominate the colossal (and blinding) billboards of Times Square in New York City––representation matters. Although things are changing and slowly inching its way towards a level playing field, there’s still much work that has to happen.
An Untouchable Modeling Career
One model by the name of Ashley Marie Livingston, better known as Az Marie is trailblazing the industry with her unconventional yet stunning beauty. Her sleeve tattoos and androgynous style are distinct.
AzMarie made her debut on America’s Next Top Model in 2012. Although, she’s been modeling since she was nine years old. She illustrated her incredible versatility on ANTM. It didn’t matter what she wore because her ability to balance both the masculinity and femininity while still looking breathtakingly beautiful is what makes her inimitable.
“I would call myself handsomely beautiful because I do play on both of those. But it’s more than just a look, it’s really a whole embodiment of body, mind and spirit. Everybody is masculine and feminine inside. But it’s how much of that you tap into [that] makes you your whole self, and that goes for men or women, whether you’re gay or you’re straight.”
Eventually, she was eliminated during the sixth round because she refused to wear a butt pad.
She later said, “I wasn’t comfortable with putting it on or the situation in general. Personally, I felt like I may have or could have later on jeopardized my character and my image. I didn’t want to do it.”
Despite this elimination, AzMarie didn’t regard this as a failure because success to her is a journey and not a destination. She embraces all feedback and uses it as motivation to excel.
A Multifaceted Creative
AzMarie is not only versatile as a model, but she’s also quite artistically talented as an actor, singer, and rapper.
As an actor, AzMarie did a cameo in the film Precious and was part of the documentary The Same Difference. She was then cast for DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles) on OutTV and most recently she plays “Chicken”, Hakeem Lyon’s best friend (and DJ) on Empire.
Besides multiple appearances on television, film and music videos, AzMarie has found the time to release quite a few singles. She released Morning Guarantee in 2012, then We Hot in 2015, and most recently “IDW” in 2017.
Her music is a self-expression of her life experiences, the twists and turns with feel-good melodies.
On Coming Out
AzMarie isn’t just known for her art and creativity. She is also the ex-girlfriend of Raven Symone, whom she shared the spotlight with for approximately 3-4 years.
When asked about the breakup she said, “It’s imperative that people continue to grow & allow change.”
You see, AzMarie has been out as a lesbian since she was 14 years old. And based on her professional career you can infer that who she is, lies in being true to herself and comfortable in her skin.
“If I’m going to do this, I want to be comfortable. I don’t want to have any other issues…I don’t throw it in anybody’s face. I’m not going to flaunt it. It just is what it is for my sanity, for it to be OK…I’m out. It is what it is. My parents accept me, and that’s all that matters to me. Everybody else is irrelevant. They’re going to have their opinion regardless.”
AzMarie isn’t officially dating anyone as of yet and likes to maintain her privacy as airtight as possible.
The Importance Of Representation
As I stated before, representation matters.
Most importantly to the LGBTQIA community.
The more that individuals who have prominent platforms are open about their sexualities and comfortable expressing their genders the more impact it has on the queer community because many are still suffering in silence.
So thank you, AzMarie, for being bold in your sexuality and gender expressions.
Cover photo: www.prweb.com