Nia: Beauty And The Brain

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(Beautiful Nia’s a braniac)

Where She’s From: Nia was born in Detroit, MI, but “raised all over,� as she puts it to The Black Star News. “I grew up in Hadesburg, Mississippi, Flint, Detroit, and Ann Arbor MI, and New Hampshire,� she laughs. “No my dad was not in the army, he was an electrical engineer so when daddy got a promotion we moved.�

She insists she wasn’t traumatized even though she attended nine elementary schools. “So adjusting to the modeling world was very easy for me because I’m used to being a gypsy, a nomad since childhood,� she says.

Nia was raised by a single parent really—her parents divorced when she was very young so her mother did the raising. “With the help of my grandmother, I learned a lot from these two powerful women. My mom told me that ‘what’s yours cannot be denied, so no need to stress.’ Grandma says, ‘why you so concerned with what has not happened yet?’ Like the future can't carry itself without you worrying about it. Words to live by.�

After high school in Michigan, Nia attended the University of Michigan at AnnArbor. “I started out in the chemical engineering program, like father, and then I switched to economics and sociology,� she says.

Where She’s At: “I am not supermodel status yet but I definitely have accomplished a lot at this stage,� Nia says. “I am a working girl in the business. My career started in the Big Apple! The source magazine from New York was traveling around college campus doing runway contests. Out of 300 people who tried out, I was picked to be in the show and then I won. Unbeknownst to me, I won an all expense paid trip to New York City and to be in the magazine. I’ve been here every since.�

Where She's Heading: She’s now eyeing projects such as make up campaigns. “Something like L’Oreal, Maybeline, Cover girl, Black opal, somebody!� she says. “Makeup campaign for a few years, do a spike lee joint—I’m really into independent films and have my own show. I have a lot to say! I have big lungs in this little body.�

She says the biggest challenges in this business are the occasional negative thoughts from time to time: “What you put out into the universe comes back, it’s the laws of attraction—The only one stopping me is me. Keeping in mind that thoughts are powerful, so make sure everyone is positive. That is a challenge in this business when you can get side tracked or tempted by other peoples’ careers. Just keeping my eye on the prize—You only live once, so make it count!�

She’s most proud thus far of gracing the covers of Caras, a Puerto Rican magazine and L’Oreal Paris for South African Fashion week magazine. She’s also been in several national and international magazines and on billdboards around New York City, and in stores and on buses. “I’m also in the new Denzel Washington movie, American Gangstar, and have my own men and women’s T-shirt clothing line in major boutiques around New York,� adds the tireless entrepreneur.

“Combining beauty and brainpower is important to me because I believe it’s necessary to show depth,� Nia continues. “The main reason is I was raised to be a thinker, ask questions, think outside the box—the rest, I consider a blessing by God and good genetics. Might as well put it to good use.�

She maintains her beauty with Palmers coco butter and with shea butter. “I buy the shea butter off the African vendors in Harlem. Where makeup is concerned, I don’t wear much of it unless I’m working. Other than that, I buy brands from CVS or Rite Aid, like Black Opal, Iman, and Black Radiance. They have great colors for women of color and trust that they use the same chemist as MAC makeup.�

She’s a smart shopper. “I am vintage shop crazy! Love going to vintage stores for clothes and shoes. If I see something I like there and it’s too big or what not, then I reconstruct it to my creation,� she says.

Nia’s Secrets Of Success: “I am not competitive with any other girl in this business. I worry and focus about me only. I don't spend time wanting what other people have—what’s mine is mine, no need to stress. I figure there is no real competition anyway because there is only one me. If you want Nia then, you want Nia no one else can be that.�

Nia’s All Time Three Favorite Films: “Color purple, Claudine, and Scarface.�

Nia’s All Time Three Favorite Books: “Pimp, Elaine Brown’s ‘Taste Of Power,’ and Clan Of The Cave Bear.�

The First Three Things Nia Would Do As President: “I would definitely make education free, everyone would have medical health coverage and I would install mandatory Military draft for repeat sex offenders, child abusers and molesters, and women beaters--Since they want to prey on someone weaker, put them on front line in a horrific war and see what happens.�

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