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Conversations with the Inspiring Janaiah Lloyd

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janaiah Lloyd.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in a small suburban town in Northern Virginia. It’s pretty slow, not very diverse, and I can even say a little robotic. Robotic meaning most people follow a similar lifestyle; go to college, get married, work a 9-5 and have kids. Which I’m sure is fine for some but I gave that a huge hell to da nah by like the 7th grade. Since I was really young, I’d have these super vivid dreams and wild ideas that came out of nowhere. I would often tell myself how fun it’ll be living out in California and doing anything that would keep the creativity in my mind flourishing. So from an early age, I pretty much knew my life was going in a different direction than what I was surrounded by. I started by saying I would model, then it went onto writing movies, directing, etc.

Shortly after high school, I moved to the bay area where I found out more about myself than ever, I felt a sense of free and unlimited self-expression. I think this really had to do with the energy in the bay; everyone is so open and accepting which made me feel like I was home and that I belonged. Experiencing that was extremely eyeopening and I felt comfortable enough to say it out loud that I identify as non-binary. Those experiences shaped a lot of my influence when creating today. I explored the creative ventures I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid and came to find out I want nothing more than to be a face/role model for those who feel as though they can’t express themselves due to lack of diversity, or fear of being judged for who they are. So I moved to La in 2017 and started modeling which turned into a love for creative direction as well.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No. not by any stretch of the imagination. I feel like if the road is smooth you’re not doing something right. Being a creative I’ve found personally requires a lot of self-discovery, self-awareness and healing. You really have to dig deep to really love who is standing in the mirror and be confident enough to know that you’re worthy of whatever it is you do. Facing myself, thats the biggest challenge I’ve run into. Once you do, that sets the foundation for everything else. The beauty of being a creative though is that you can go through these things and still create while doing that. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is required and in my opinion thats when the best art is produced. The advice I would give is to always be resilient. The road is not going to be easy if you have any type of drive or will to do what it is you love, so look at every single obstacle as an opportunity to learn. As not a burden but a step into the next phase of your journey. Surrendering control, pushing forward, and taking care of your mental health!!!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a model and creative director. My first project surrounding my creative direction where I also modeled, was based off of self-acceptance. It was really an introduction to who I am and what I stand for. I am a non-binary model who doesn’t want to be put in a box or limited to the opportunities I have just because of what I identify as. and I felt that it was necessary to tell my story on how I discovered that. I feel as though thats what most of my work reflects is the beauty of humans, and humans rights to be authentically themselves. I also really enjoy modern looks, earth tones, and fucking sparkly shit. I am most proud of my versatility as far as my look and eye. I hope to get farther in the industry with that. I do want to shift the narrative on how “masculine” may look to the average person. It’s based on how YOU feel and not based on how you look.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
I believe women are well positioned for any and every opportunity. No limits. They should be encouraged and supported by men, women and everyone in-between to do whatever it is they strive for or dream to do with their entire beings.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @janaiahlenay

Image Credit:
Creative director & stylist: Janaiah; Photographer(s): Diamond smith (all photos except she/they&they/them) & Jamie Boyd (she/they & they/them)

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