1. For those who don’t know you could you please introduce yourself

Hi, I’m Audrey, I’m Franco-Beninese and I have lived in Belgium for a few years now. 
I study Information & Communication, I work as a model and lately also in Artistic Direction. 

  1. Modelling is a notoriously difficult industry, how do you manage to stay grounded and not lose yourself. 

I have never  had a bad or difficult experience. If I did it was was prior to finding an agency and I was told 
I was not very tall or that they already have “mixed or black” girls in their agency, like one model of color is enough for them. 

I felt discourage by that sometimes but I know it’s also very subjective because the concept of beauty is different for everybody. 
I have my family and friends to support me, modelling has  given me the opportunity to meet amazing and creative people! 

  1. What does it mean to you to be able to have a platform where you can represent young women like yourself. 

Representation is really important, when I was younger I didn’t let my hair down because it was huge, big and messy. I didn’t know how to take care of it! 
With social media and principally Instagram, there are a lot a communities about Afro hair, where people share their tips and also experiences. I have learnt a lot via those platforms.

  1. What do you hope young women see when they see you in campaigns

I hope they see that you don’t have to be in the standard of what beauty is for society, that you don’t have to be scared to wear super bright colours, that you don’t have to worry of being yourself. 
I want to spread only positive energy and I hope people will feel that way.

  1. Your job is particularly tasking mentally and physically, how do you keep yourself grounded after a shoot is done. 

First I take off all the makeup to have a fresh clean face, it’s very important to keep your skin healthy! 
And I like to read, my favorite author is Chinamanda Ngozi Adichie. She’s an incredible writer and I’m really touched by her work, it’s really powerful and simple at the same time.

  1. Have you had any difficult experiences as a model, if so how did you overcome them? 

Like I said before, I’m lucky because I never had a really bad and difficult experience as model. 

For me, castings can be very discouraging, you have to wait a lot, and selections,... I had a lot of castings, I didn’t succeed for the most of them. 
But I keep going, I try because you never know you’re gonna be lucky! 

  1. What advice would you give any young girl who wanted the same career as you?

To be patient and confident! And to have people that you can trust with you who will be there support you and help you if you need it.  

  1. Do you think having African roots has shaped you as a young woman? If so how. 

My mother comes from Benin and she’s an amazing, strong and beautiful woman. She taught me that beauty is diverse, and sometimes you can’t see it right away. That’s why you have to get to know people, because everybody is beautiful but in different ways.

I have my strong character from her, she raised me to be ready to face everything and I’m thankful for that! 

  1. What do you think is the best thing about being a young African woman in 2018?

I think I see more girls (but also boys) embracing the beauty of their natural hair.
The pride of wearing an Afro, curly hair or braids, and to see the diversity of sizes, skin colours or genders everywhere! 

  1. Could you share a beauty secret with us?

Coconut oil of course, but also my rubber mask hydration lover by Dr.Jart, it’s my emergency beauty mask!

- As told by Jasmine O.