“I never looked at the industry for role models,” Amanda Michelle noted in our interview. She was not disrespecting the industry, acknowledging that she respected many within it. She was just reflecting on her upbringing, one that saw her guided by strong women. It’s not wonder then, that Amanda Michelle has become a strong woman in her own right, working in two worlds to fulfill goals.
As a young model working towards a degree in Biological Science, she has her sights set on world changing goals. Inspired by her mother’s fight with multiple sclerosis, Amanda Michelle is focused and poised to make a difference.
Beauty & Brains recently caught up with the North Carolina student to discuss her work with Apple Bottoms, her goals and her motivation.
Beauty & Brains: When did you get into modeling and what led you to choose that path?
Amanda Michelle: I really got into it two and a half years ago. One of my friends’ uncles is a photographer. He asked me if I wanted to do a photo shoot for a magazine. Went to the shoot, did that and it just kind of went on from there. It was a really good experience. I had a lot of fun. Eventually, after that shoot, I booked another shoot and continued from there.
Beauty & Brains: Eventually, you became a part of Nelly’s Miss Apple Bottoms campaign. What was the most significant part of the process that you left with?
Amanda Michelle: It was a really good experience! I enjoyed everybody. The other girls were amazing. The whole Apple Bottoms team was amazing. I think the most I took from that is experience in dealing with the press and a lot of the things that come with modeling. It was a really good experience.
Beauty & Brains: You said you learned how to deal with a lot of the things that come with modeling. What would you say is the most difficult part of the modeling world?
Amanda Michelle: The most difficult part would definitely be knowing how to deal with certain people. It’s a good thing that you get to meet a lot of different people but at the same time, you’re going to meet people that you won’t necessarily like or you’re going to meet people that are going to rub you the wrong way. It’s just one of those things that comes with it. You just have to know how to deal with it. You have to let people know that you are serious and they’ll respect you for it. A lot of times, if they get a feel from you that you’re not serious, they’ll treat you differently. If you show them that you are serious, they’ll treat you with respect.
Beauty & Brains: You’re finishing up work towards a Biological Science degree. What led you down that path?
Amanda Michelle: I’ve always had an interest in sciences. So, when I came to college, I initially was going for a different degree but switched after freshmen year because this would probably give me more opportunities to have a good career. So, I thought I could maybe go into research and maybe research MS (Multiple Sclerosis). My mother actually has MS and that motivated me to go into the research side of that.
Beauty & Brains: I see that’s what inspired you to go into research. In what other ways would you say that your mother’s MS influenced you coming up and in your own independence as well?
Amanda Michelle: My mom is a very, very, very strong person. She never complains. It’s very hard for her because she gets tired easily. She couldn’t do all the things we used to be able to do. We would go shopping and she would get tired and have to go sit down or when we’d be on vacation. She would try not to show it. She was very strong in that aspect. She’d wake up every day and put a smile on her face, making sure we were good. She was always a provider. I drew strength form her. That further motivated me to go into research and maybe find a cure for that.
Beauty & Brains: What is your ultimate goal in the modeling world?
Amanda Michelle: I enjoy modeling and doing video shoots and photo shoots but I definitely would like to get into acting. There’s definitely more longevity in acting. Right now, it’s cool because I’m young and active but down the line, what’s going to last longer is more on the acting side.
Beauty & Brains: Who were your role models coming up?
Amanda Michelle: I never looked at the industry for role models. I respect a lot of people but as far as my role models, I really looked toward my mom and grandmother, women who were always there for me and guided me to the person I am today. My mom is a very strong individual and so is my grandmother. She’s a character herself but the main thing I respect about her is that she’s very independent and speaks her mind. She makes sure everybody respects her. I really look towards those people more so than I do people in the industry.
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