Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

I’m NeshaRaye, a Washingtonian whose interest in modeling started at a young age back when my aunts would take me to Macy’s (the back in the day Macy’s where they’ll have little mini fashion shows in the middle of the mall lol).

How did you get into modeling?

Growing up, I’ve always loved anything fashion and modeling, of course, every chance I’d get to show off, pose and strut my stuff I’d do it lol. Every chance there was to enter into anything fashion or modeling, I’d take it!! That was a big passion of mine. However, being the oldest of 8 siblings, money wasn’t always there, so my passion had to take a backseat for YEARS.

Can you give me four words that describe who you are?

Personable, Fierce, Bubbly, outgoing.

In regards to the plus-sized industry,  what are the aspects you love about it? What are some aspects that you don’t love about the industry?

The aspects of the industry that I love are seeing the creativity, the talent, the rawness of it all, however, I don’t love that it’s not enough representation of those who look like me, the “tummy over the pants, the big arms and legs, not your typical model by society standards “.

Many models feel the pressure to fit a ‘sample’ size for their work. As a plus-size model, do you feel pressure to look a certain way physically?

Not at all, I was uniquely created not to look like anyone else, originality has always been my thing… loving how you feel and look about yourself speaks volumes that words can’t describe. You were born to stand out, even if it means standing alone.

How do you define success?

I’d have to say it’s being fulfilled within, the ability to lead others, and just being happy, to reach your goals in life, whatever those goals may be.

If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would you choose and why?

I would choose my dear friend, Shavon Tucker. She’s taught me so much about what it took to be a fierce model, self-love, hard work, and dedication, she’s guided me through my entire journey in this industry. The very first photographer that shot me… May she forever eternally rest.

What creative abilities and strengths are most admirable to you?

The ability to be fearless, fierce, and know what you’re capable of.

What advice would you give a young girl struggling with self-esteem issues during today’s times?

The advice I would give is an old saying… “Tough times don’t last”… Push through… not so long ago I felt how you felt so I understand. The constant images of body modification and social standards of what “beauty” should be or look like, make us females feel “not so pretty ” at times. How you feel on the inside always projects outward, sometimes You gotta “feel” a little, and you gotta lock eyes with yourself in the mirror and say “damn I’m pretty” and mean it. Confidence is pure beauty alone.

How can our readers connect with you?

IG: @ModelNeshaRaye

Photography by @pvstudioz