Black Girl Magic is everywhere! To say Black women are lit is an understatement. Some of us are refusing to keep our magic to ourselves, instead we are sprinkling it everywhere we go, leaving a path for others to find their greatness. That is what it means to uplift others.
In my search for more Black Owned Businesses, I often have entrepreneurs reach out to me! Some of them are so magnetic, upon hearing their stories and their inspiration it's impossible not to share. Arielle's transition from fashion to fitness is one of those stories. Her ability to overcome and encourage others is detailed below.
Name: Arielle Jernigan
Hometown: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Education: SUNY Albany, Graduated from Brooklyn College Dec 2013
Previous Ad campaigns, modeling agencies you worked for: America’s Next Top Model (season 13 episode 1), RED Models, In Style Magazine
MRTV: Let’s start by asking how you began your modelling career. Is it a classical – I was shopping and got scouted at the mall – story?
AJ: My story is quite the opposite of classical. I am still trying to break into an industry that is not catered for Black Women. I started by being the star in a school fashion show at SUNY Albany but the commute to visit agencies from Albany to NY was too long and expensive so I transferred schools to Brooklyn College. Got two jobs at DSW and Tory Burch and I saved some money and flew myself to both London and Paris. Every time I look back at that story I’m reminded that I was a little crazy, lol. When I was visiting agencies in London and Paris they were really mean to me in such a nice tone. It was bizarre.
They would say, “We love your skin, but your lips are too big.” “Your hips are too big” “Your breasts is too big”. My measurements were 32B-25-37 at the time. I am a naturally curvy, skinny woman. My chest isn’t even big. In Paris, an agency told me that if I were to lose 13lbs in a week I’d be able to walk for fashion week. Silly, passionate me tried to do just that. I ended up getting extremely sick. I was dehydrated and malnourished. I was in the hospital for a very long time, missed my flight and never got to see the Eiffel Tower. I made a vow to myself to go back to Paris because of what happened to me.
MRTV: Modeling does come with some requirements regarding physical appearance. What does your lifestyle look like to maintain a model’s physique (describe what you eat, what you don’t, exercise routine, etc)?
AJ: I am no longer interested in keeping a model’s physique. It is a very unrealistic physique to keep up with and at times (not going to say all of the time) can be very malnourished and that is not a lifestyle I agree with anymore. After Paris, I studied personal training and holistic nutrition and became a health coach. Now my diet consists of real, raw foods, a ton of greens, fruits, and complex carbs. I prefer to eat alkalizing foods, and the greener the better.
AJ: I don’t eat meat (only when I travel to other countries because their food production system is usually healthier). I don’t eat really late at night. I don’t eat white bread, or white anything for that matter. White sugar, white rice, white bread are all no gos for me. I drink a lot of smoothies. I exercise about 3-4x a week. I love to rollerblade, I used to teach Zumba in Harlem so now I attend Zumba classes, and I absolutely love Hot Yoga. When I go to the gym I’m usually focused on one or two muscle groups and then I alternate between them throughout the week.
MRTV: Describe your personal style?
AJ: My style is so funky and its very interchangeable. I find my style to be very vibrant in a fun, tomboy, sexy kind of way. I like wearing bold colors. I like to feel androgynously sexy.
MRTV: Favorite place to visit or vacation?
AJ: My favorite place to visit is a tie between my Hot Yoga Studio and the pier by my apartment. I really love to sit in the sun and journal. As far as vacation: Costa Rica, hands down. Costa Rica is one of the few places on this earth that has 12 hours of Sun, 12 hours of Dark. I tried my best to soak up the sun those entire 12 hours. Costa Rica is also the most beautiful, vibrant, vivacious country I’ve ever been to. I love green and I love colors and Costa Rica had a lot of both. I can keep going but to cut this short Costa Rica was miraculously stunning and I’d love to go back.
There is sooo much more to Arielle Jernigan's story. Subscribe here to be notified of part II of her journey, which lead her to becoming an amazing holistic nutrition coach and creating beautiful journals that help others heal. More to come....