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Check Out Poohnana Brown’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Poohnana Brown.

Hi Poohnana, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I started from someone just seeing potential in myself. 2011 a previous co-worker by the name of Christina Garcia we were camp counselor one summer, and she informed me she was starting up a plus-size boutique. She stated she loved how I was always so confident and how I photographed well in my pictures via social media. I really didn’t think nothing of it. But believe it or not, 2014 came around she hit me up like “Hey Girl! I’m starting boutique, and I need you.” Being a plus-size model has always been a secret passion of mine I never expressed fully, so I said, “What do I have to lose?”

Now come on. Big girl. The internet. Memes. I’m not going to lie although I was all in for anything she needed in the back of my head, I was nervous like a convict with a third strike going to court. Really nervous because I knew these image was being broadcasted on her website and for social media use. People can be cruel you know. And I knew becoming a new model, I would have to how they say “pay your dues” meaning we will have to invest, learn all the tricks, networking, and do a lot of free shit our first year modeling. And baby, they were not lying! Christina made me her main model and brand ambassador for her body positivity boutique brand called “Love Your Lonjas” which means love your fat rolls. She informed me since she was just starting up a very small business that, we wouldn’t be able to pay me, but she will give me all my images from the photographer and all the clothes I needed. A new model starting up that is a very good resource.

Long story short, the images was dope and the website was a hit. I got very great feedback from friends and family. It’s crazy when you actually see yourself in a different perceptive. It gives you the push and confidence to try to strive for more. So I told myself if your going to go for it really go for it. I submitted for a few castings and got told “no” by a lot of folks and a lot of brands. So I figured I needed a “knitch” of my own. I wasn’t going to be the typical plus-size model; I was going to be a runway beast. Most plus-size models on the runway is typically boring. I wanted to be the next Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks on the runway. I had my friend by the name of Darrell Martin who’s a logo designer create me some comp cards, and I told myself to go to LA Society’s Fashion Week Show to brand myself and network. And that’s exactly what I did! I showed up all dolled up with my cards all optimistic just excited to see the show, but they was running behind schedule. One of the show coordinators I will never forget her name Raven Wilson came up stating they will be starting the show soon and was introducing herself. Being myself, I shook her hand introducing myself and stated I was a plus-size model. She stopped and asked, “You’re a plus-size model?” I laughed nervously and replied, “Yes, I am”. She asked, “Can you walk today? Do you have your shoes?” My eyes got so big I said, “Yes!” She grabbed my hand and yelled, “Great! Come with me.”

We walked through so many hallways backstage full of clothes, models, and just people getting ready for the show. It was crazy. Until we reached a small Nigerian woman by the name of Rene Dieu. Raven walked up and stated I found your plus-size model. The lady looked at me up and down and stated let me see your walk. Hiding my nervousness, I strutted for her. She stated, “very good try this on” and she handed me this colorful silk pants set which at the end of the show, she let me keep by the way. She said we are walking later, so just stick around. I was so shocked I handed her my comp card. I couldn’t believe I was walking for a popular LA fashion week show just that quick and everything after that was history. I just kept working, progressing as a model and influencer today!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Yo! Like I get a bunch of girls that come of me and tell me they want to model. And you want to know what I tell them? I tell them it’s super hard work it’s not all the glitz and glamour you see on Instagram. Hell yeah, it was super hard for me. I’m not as tall or have a flat stomach with a big butt. I tell everyone I’m not 5’8 but I can’t model and pose like I’m 5’8. I was always told by plus-size brands I’m too small, yet by other petite brands, I’m too small. Most of my modeling career, I was independent with no agency, so I will have to submit and cast myself. But my personality, walk, and pictures will be just as good. I’ve had to work harder than most models. I’m a regular black woman coming up in the modeling industry. But now I feel when they ask for a black plus-size model they are referencing a black woman who is mixed or has lighter skin with curly hair. So yes, there are shortcomings, but I don’t let that stop me or define me from my lighter-colored sisters. Because I’m here to make my own wave and a path of the regular average plus-size girls who aren’t 5’8.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Besides Modeling. I love acting and being an entertainment correspondent. Since I was little, I would love to watch the reports on the red carpets on MTV, 106 and park, or E! Entertainment television and interview all the celebrities. I’m very good on the mic! A lot of people tell me I’m very animated and have a great voice for radio. So I created a video podcast I started during the pandemic. I called it She Is Plus Size Beauty Sundays. I was an intimate live interview segment I hosted on Sundays on the social media platform Instagram. I’ve interviewed designers such as Alani Taylor who created designs for Beyonce, Da Baby, and more. I’ve interviewed plus-size supermodels such as Jihan Amir & Sunshine as seen on shows such as Thick House and Making the Cut. As well as interviewed ballroom legends from the show HBO Max Legendary, and the list goes on. What sets me apart is my personality and my ability to have people share their stories with the world. But showcasing my authentic self via social media and creating my own platform and content that’s relatable to the others.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Yes! Again I did not let the Covid-19 crisis make me stuck. I still had a shit load of clothes and products I had to post and shoot. So I went on Walmart.com and order some studio backdrops, lights, and a tripod. And my ass got to work, and that’s how the social media influencer work came along. My followers and people was loving my videos and reviews videos. Even my interviews! I figured you have to be resourceful when situations like this happen. I made my pandemic turn into something popping. Now I have brands reaching out to pay me to post their products or services.

Pricing:

  • $164 – $188 for 1 post and 1 story
  • $282 – $340 for 2 posts 2 stories
  • $164 – $188 for 1 TikTok & Youtube
  • 200 Half Day shoot
  • 500 full day shoot

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Jeremy Rafanan – @JRafanan Sabrina Kennelly – @ThePrincessFusion Ming Wu – @H2WuPix Connor Clayton – @ConnorClaytonPhotography

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