PESY THERESE

AGE: 23

LOCATION: Brooklyn, New York

IG HANDLE: @pesytherese

I am happy to introduce you to our latest muse, Pesy Therese. I first met Pesy a few years ago on a photoshoot in Brooklyn and was greeted by her infectious smile and kind demeanor. I have since kept up with her life and work, through instagram (of course!) and wanted to chat with her about her life as a model in NYC and how she keeps herself healthy and whole during these unprecedented times.

S:

When did you start your modeling career?

PT:

I started modeling at the age of 12 at Barbizon Modeling and Acting School. My career really started when I was discovered at a modeling competition four years ago and signed with my first modeling agency called Images NY right after.

S:

What was your inspiration for becoming a model?

PT:

I really didn’t have any inspiration at the beginning since modeling was something I did because I met the [model] requirements. The more I grew and learned about the industry the more I was inspired by all the young ladies pushing themselves despite the limitations they face, especially models of color like myself. My parents really pushed and motivated me. I can honestly say they are the reason I still model today.

S:

As a model, how do you maintain a positive body image?

PT:

It’s honestly hard. We live in a time and age where so many people have different views and opinions on body positivity. I honestly want young girls out there to know that they can love themselves and be themselves - showcasing their bodies to the world as a way of self-appreciation.

S:

Did you ever have any insecurities about your body?

PT:

I had a lot of insecurities which honestly started when I began modeling. Modeling is a very judgmental industry and it’s easy to get lost. I found myself in God, reminding myself every day that I’m beautifully and wonderfully made in His image. I’m beautiful exactly the way I was created. Why should I allow what others think of me affect me? They aren't my creator.

S:

As a woman of color, do you ever feel pressure to fit into a white / mainstream standard of beauty?

PT:

I always feel the pressure especially with my hair. It took a while to accept my Afro hair. I remember I would always wear wigs because my hair was considered nappy or high maintenance. I remember being so frustrated and angry that I completely shaved my whole head just so I wouldn’t deal with it and it shouldn’t be that way.

S:

Are there any WOC in the industry that served as inspiration when you began your career?

PT:

An old friend of mine inspired me in many ways. She was free and fully aware of herself. She never allowed the perception of others to affect her because she knew who she was - a beautiful, proud and strong black woman.

S:

If you were not a model, what would you be?

PT:

If I wasn’t modeling I would definitely be part of an organization that helps children and families in undeveloped countries. I have such a passion for kids.

S:

To date, what has been your favorite modeling job?

PT:

I remember when I did my first shoot - my biggest campaign for Tiffany & Co along with my best friend. I’ll never forget that day and set. I felt like a queen.

S:

What is a dream modeling job / project?

PT:

I don’t really have a dream modeling job. Every modeling job is a blessing to me. It’s every girl's dream. One job I would love to do is be the face of a beauty house. I know it’s coming soon.

S:

Do you follow any particular diet or lifestyle plan for eating?

PT:

I don’t really follow any particular diet. I try to eat as healthy as I can, as much as I can. I don’t drink soda or any sugar drinks. Water is pretty much my best friend. I’m a big smoothie/juice person. Despite everything that’s currently going on I’m super grateful to say I’m opening a smoothie/juice bar called ESO (fruits in Yoruba, a language spoken in Nigeria). Definitely looking forward to that!
‘‘
I’m grateful for everything that I have in my life. It hasn’t always been the way I planned but it’s the best way for me and I thank God for that every day.
’’

S:

What is your favorite food to prepare?

PT:

I love breakfast, it’s my favorite meal of the day. I love making oatmeal with my favorite toppings which include blueberries, bananas, chia seeds, and peanut butter.

S:

Supplements I take

PT:

include vitamins, ginger shots, turmeric shots, hot lemon water every morning.

S:

Favorite salad ingredients include

PT:

mixed greens, lemon, olive oil, salt, shredded carrots, and avocado.

S:

Favorite smoothie ingredients

PT:

are strawberry, blueberry, mango, banana and spinach.

S:

How do you like to move your body?

PT:

I love to dance and roller skate.

S:

What is your skincare routine?

PT:

I have a pretty simple skincare routine. I’m not one who does a lot to their face. I moisturize and cleanse daily. I exfoliate once every two weeks. When it comes to beauty products I try to stay consistent with one brand.

S:

Do you have any favorite natural (or clean) products for your skin?

PT:

I use a lot of natural homemade products. I make my own mask and moisturizer using everyday spices and anything in my kitchen from ginger, pepper, Aloe Vera, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, and rice flour.

S:

Have you always embraced your natural hair?

PT:

It honestly took me a long time to embrace my natural. I’ve shaved it too many times. People always had their opinion about it especially clients. I wear my natural hair out all the time now. I love it but it’s still a learning process and I’m growing - self-reflection - I had to really sit down and pray. I asked God so many times why he made me this way. My partner also played a big role in helping me with my self-confidence, understanding how to be more confident in/with myself and rock my hair.

S:

How do you care for your natural hair?

PT:

I moisturize my hair every other day, I condition once a week and shampoo once every two weeks. I wear a lot of protect hairstyle like braids and cornrows especially during the summer.

S:

What brings you joy?

PT:

My family brings me a lot of joy. My partner, he’s the best gift God has given/shown me. Watching my family/friends evolve brings me joy.

S:

How do keep a positive attitude?

PT:

I keep a positive attitude by believing that everything in life happens for a reason - the good and the bad. God knows our beginning and our end which means he know every second and minute of the in between.

S:

What’s your morning routine?

PT:

Waking up at 6 am, morning prayer and a 15 minute yoga session which I’m trying to do more of. I like to plan my day with a to-do list so I can check them off as I’m going. It helps a lot.

S:

Are there any affirmations you use to keep a positive mindset?

PT:

God’s timing is best.

S:

How do you manifest your dreams?

PT:

I pray and build my relationship with God.

S:

Do you have a self-care routine?

PT:

I don’t really have a self-care routine. I care for myself every single day in many ways which include writing, dancing, praying cooking and etc. For me all of those things are self-care.

S:

Right now, I am reading

PT:

The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy and listening to a lot of gospel music.

S:

I show love for myself by

PT:

reminding myself every day that I am a queen. I’ll have a nail day/lazy day to do whatever I want that doesn’t include work lol.

S:

The best advice I ever received from an elder

PT:

was from my partner when he told me that all the questions I may have regarding who I am is in the Bible.

S:

Either in your home or elsewhere, where is your Sanctuaire (sanctuary) for peace and well-being?

PT:

My home in MD where my parents and siblings live.

S:

What do you do to calm fear or anxiety?

PT:

A take a few deep breaths and clear my mind.

S:

Where have you been during this time of quarantine?

PT:

I was in MD with my family for the first two months of quarantine then I came back to NY.

S:

How do you find joy in the midst of quarantine?

PT:

All things happen the way God wants them to happen. There’s a lot happening in the old and for so long it’s been ignored. 2020 is the year that change will happen. That brings me joy.

S:

What do you miss most about life before the pandemic?

PT:

I guess you could say hanging with friends lol. I’m not a very social person but being in quarantine has definitely made me miss the social life.

S:

Is there anything pre-quarantine that you hope does not return?

PT:

Laziness and taking things for granted. I hope people realize the power of friendship and what an impact it has in our lives.

S:

How have you been keeping busy in quarantine?

PT:

I’ve actually been helping create face shields for the doctors and nurses of NYC helping fight this virus. It’s been an amazing way to keep me busy and help at the same time.

S:

The best part of quarantine has been

PT:

spending more time with my partner lol well we are basically stuck together every day.

S:

The toughest part of quarantine has

PT:

been trying to paint a picture of the future and know that I don’t know what it holds since everything is at a pause right now.

S:

Have you recognized any silver linings during this time?

PT:

I’ve recognized a lot. From covid-19 to people realizing that living a healthy life is very important to the protests that are taking place all over the world in light of the police brutality towards African Americans. I see a lot of hope knowing that God has something great for us.

S:

What are you most grateful for?

PT:

I’m grateful for everything that I have in my life. It hasn’t always been the way I planned but it’s the best way for me and I thank God for that every day.

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