Shelly Rio's Rising Star
Shelly Rio: â€œI want to undo the mold of the stereo type mainstream modeling that you have to be super skinny.â€?
[Our Beauty Of The Day]
Where She’s From: Shelly Rio was born in Manhattan, and raised in both New York and New Jersey.
“I grew up in about five different foster homes until I was 15 years old and then was placed in a group home,” the lovely model, who has endured some of life’s hardships, tells The Black Star News. “The most important thing I learned growing up is that, no matter how hard you think you may have it, someone out there has it much harder.”
Rio attended the first two years of High School at Hasbrouck Heights and the last two years at Ridgewood High. She then decided to Miami and pursue modeling. “My plans were soon put on hold because I found out I was pregnant. I thought my dreams of modeling went down the drain,” she recalls.
It was while she was working at a restaurant that a customer, instead of concentrating on a meal focused on Rio and urged her to take up modeling. The customer must have been convincing. “I decided to quit my job. It was now or never,” she says. “I found a great photographer and took pictures and signed with a New York City agency.”
Where She’s At: Rio’s career has taken off. “I think I'm at a great stage in my career right now, although I would like to get to the highest stage,” she says. “I'm on the number one hit show MTV's Wild n Out. I'm in every hot music video out right now, I've graced the pages of all the urban magazines, and I'm in the process of working on my own reality show.”
“I hit the urban market pretty hard, so now I plan on hitting the Spanish market and then the mainstream modeling market,” Rio says. “I want to undo the mold of the stereo type mainstream modeling that you have to be super skinny. That's not in anymore and I want to show that the models that aren't super tiny can still model the same things.”
“The one thing that has been a challenge though is modeling in music videos and people perceiving you as a video hoe,” Rio says, when asked how she deals with obstacles. “That is one thing I am not. I go to set, do my job, and then leave. People fail to understand that we're acting and we're playing a character. We don't walk around in skimpy outfits and shake our butts. I always have a role in music videos. You will never see me pop, lock, and dropping it.”
Rio says it’s important to avoid being type-casted in the industry. She has been on print advertisement campaigns, commercials, and small movies.
She has been on the cover of King Magazine and BlackMen Magazine. She’s on Nick Cannon’s number one show, and Rio is the new 2008 Bacardi Gold girl. Life-size cardboard cutouts of Rio will soon be found in locations where Bacardi is sold throughout the country.
“Anyone can be pretty but that won't get you very far,” Rio continues. “You need to have brains and be able to talk to people. A girl with okay looks and a brain will get picked over a beautiful girl that's an airhead.”
So how does this achieving and determined model prepare to step out?
“For makeup I love Mac, they have this great foundation that is very light on your skin and it doesn't cake or get heavy,” she says. “I live with Palmers Cocoa Butter; it helps for everything from dry skin to scars. I'm not a perfume person, I'm into body splashes, but I got hooked on the women's Guess perfume. I also love shopping for clothes at Guess & Marciano's. I love Seven Jeans, Joe's Jeans, and this new jean that just came out called Jean Addicts. Those fit amazing whether you got booty or not.”
Rio’s Words Of Wisdom: “Do what you do and be who you'll be without giving anybody's opinions a second thought.”
Rio’s Secrets Of Success: “Keep God number one always. Never settle for what you don't want to do; be patient; smile; and, never wish bad on anyone, no matter what, and have fun with what you do.”
Rio’s Favorite Three Movies: “Annie, Dirty Dancing, and The Sound of Music.”
Rio’s Favorite Three Books: “The Bible, Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, and any book T.D Jakes and Joyce Meyer write.”
Three Leaders That Have Most Inspired Rio: “Jesus, Cindy Crawford, and my son’s grandmother.”
Rio’s Five Favorite Entertainers: “Alicia Keys, Nas, Biggie Smalls, Jay Z, and Mary J. Blige.”
Rio’s Five Favorite websites: “www.shellyrio.com, www.myspace.com/shellyrio, www.youtube.com, www.google.com, www.lipstickalley.com.”
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