There’s a new model in town: Phaedra Parks. Though she may no longer be on the cast of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, the 5’1 entrepreneur has added a new job to her resume. That’s right— she’s not just a lawyer and a mortician, she’s now signed on with Wilhelmina Models, too. Stylish caught up with the accomplished reality T.V. star to get the exclusive scoop on her newest role, her revenge body and how she feels about stripping down, who her modeling inspirations are and more! Check out the interview and the Diana Ross-inspired shots below! Tracee Ellis Ross Wears Diana Ross’ Exact Shirt Her Mom Matched With Michael Jackson in to AMAs Stylish: Tell us, what are your goals for modeling? Parks: I think I’m the face of “yes you can.” I’m a small town girl who has followed her dreams. Yes you can be a mom, yes you can be a lawyer and yes you can be a model. When the opportunity presented itself some people asked me “Why?’ and I said “Why not?” A supermodel started this company and she wanted to give power back to the women and I think I stand for the same things. I have the opportunity to show people that beauty can come in every size, shade, color and age. It’s exciting and an adventure! Stylish: Tell US about how you feel about representing an under-served market. Parks: I feel great about being different, in light of what’s going on now, politically … I think women need to be empowered to stand in their truth, to be different, dare to be diverse and stand up in times of controversy. I’m excited for that part. Stylish: What would be your dream campaign? Parks: Well I would love be the face of skin care brand. I have great skin, I love makeup, but I love to be able to take off the makeup and have beautiful skin. I also think a lot of girls are looking on Instagram for an idealized standard of beauty that requires a lot of makeup. Those are not the faces of what real women look like. Stylish: Who are your biggest modelings inspirations? Parks: Of course [Naomi] Campbell, she is everything, so fierce. Also Nicki Minaj. She’s done such a great job reinventing herself and changing the standards of beauty. And she’s been a big supporter of me. Stylish: How do you feel about showing some skin and really taking it off for the camera? Parks: I don’t mind baring it all, I have been wearing g-strings and baring it all really every season for seven years. I had two children on national T.V. I love nudity! I’ve brought a lot of exotic entertainers on the show, so I love my body and I’ve got curves. I’m a mother of two children, so I’m not perfect, but I have no problem getting naked. Stylish: Have you changed any fitness or beauty routines? Parks: Well I swim everyday, I love pilates with the reformer and recent events made me tone it up. Stylish: Do you think wrapping up your divorce led you to get a revenge body? Parks: Well, a lot of things happened in my personal life. Going through everything was so much stress, but then when it finished it was just effortless. I feel like I turned into Benjamin Button and started aging backwards, I started being happy. Stylish: How are the businesses? Parks: Being a mortician is a passion of mine and everything I’m passionate about I just dive right in. This is our peak season […]
As conscious adults, it is imperative that we are both tough and tender. While the majority of us succeed at one or the other by default, the challenge is being able to balance the two, depending on the situation and what would be most beneficial. Children are sensitive, scared innocent little people. They need certain essentials to learn how to be resilient, how to care for others, and how to turn failure into triumph. Positive self-esteem starts with positive influences, whether it be a parent, teacher, grandparent or older siblings. Children learn by observation and interaction. Regardless of a child’s age, it is imperative that they receive positive, uplifting words from their inner circle. 1. “I love you.” – A child could have a million toys but nothing can ever top the love received. Reassuring a child of your love for them lets them know they are valuable. These affirmations include love; promotes courage, healing, and brings joy. 2. “I believe in you.” – It is important for children to know that you believe in them. Knowing that they have a strong support system equips them to accomplish their goals and dreams. 3. “I’m so proud of you.” – Children need a surplus of affirmations and validations in order to develop a healthy sense of self. Children crave support and blessings, and direct most of their behaviors towards gaining your approval, love and acceptance. 4. “I’m sorry.” When you admit your mistakes to your children, you show them you are compassionate and empathetic. Being transparent shows them that no one is perfect. 5. “ I’m listening” – It is incredibly important to listen to your children so they know that you are interested in what they have to say. Through listening, you learn about who your children are on the inside. It connects you to their inner world and facilitates a sense of value. 6. “NO” – Sometimes the most loving and caring thing you can tell a child is NO. While children can always effectively communicate the need for rules and boundaries, they know “NO” means you are alert and present. Rest assured, they will not always appreciate hearing it at the moment but years later they will circle back and appreciate your clear boundaries. By saying NO to the wrong things, it allows us to say YES to the right things.
While people often want vastly different things, hopefully as women, we all share the common desire of wanting to improve ourselves and live our best lives. In order for us to achieve our desires we must first A) know exactly what it is we want. Secondly, we must B) be able to afford our desires or be willing to work for them. However, no matter which road we travel to get to our final destination, we should never be apologetic for wanting the best for ourselves. Historically, there was a time when women had limited choices but thanks to women like Susan B. Anthony, Billy Jean King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Harriet Tubman, Evita Peron, and Michelle Obama we can have whatever we like! These women all dared to be different and challenged societal norms. They were trailblazers who were not afraid of controversy because they saw the big picture and knew their work would open the doors for others to follow behind them. We must ask ourselves: Why do we criticize each other when we all want the same thing– to be better. Is there anything wrong with valuing yourself? Is it wrong to enhance your worth whether it be through plastic surgery, education, or hard work? I hope not because, if you don't value yourself and believe in your ability, who will? If you work hard you should be proud of your accomplishments. I will never be ashamed of my tenacity and commitment to education because I realize people fought and died so that I would have the opportunity to go to high school, attend college and graduate from law school. My journey, like most women, wasn’t easy, but it was what I wanted so I worked hard for it. Unfortunately, when women speak of their accomplishments they are viewed as arrogant or “their own cheerleader.” In reality we should all be our own biggest cheerleaders. It is always interesting to me that when men speak of their accomplishments they are characterized as being confident. Why should it be any different for women? I went to school for 20 years and maintained a job throughout my undergraduate and law school matriculation. No one gave me any handouts, extra help or preferential treatment. Hence, I will never be ashamed of my degrees, because I earned them. Slogans like “Mission accomplished, dreams realized, Girl power, sisterhood” will never be truthful as long as we continue to be caddy and critical of each other.
Relationships are an important part of life. When they are healthy, they can be satisfying; provide protection, stability and prevent loneliness. Unfortunately, even the best relationships can often be very painful. I was once told, “Ignore the risk and take the fall. If it’s meant to be, it’s worth it all”. This statement resonated in my mind because I think sometimes we forget that life is about taking chances; knowing when to go, but also knowing when to leave. While no one can live without any regrets, we all deserve happiness. Our experiences- whether bad or good- build our character and shape who we are as individuals. I would not be where or who I am today if it were not for those character-building situations that some of us consider “regrettable.” Mistakes are stepping stones to an evolving life. Ultimately, life is not about waiting for storms to pass but rather about learning how to dance in the rain. Xoxo, Phaedra