Thursday Thunder: Briana Nichols

Briana Nichols interview

‘I am beautiful and that’s it, nobody can tell me otherwise’

It’s Thursday again! So you know what’s up. A couple of days ago I was snooping around on Instagram and bumped into the picture above. I loved it instantly. I immediately wanted to know more about this lady. Briana Nichols is a 23-year-old student from Southern California. She’s been modeling for half a year now. I asked her to share her boost of thunder on the blog, and she has some powerful stuff to say…

“It has honestly taken me 23 years to day that I am a confident curvy woman, and it has been a long time coming. Throughout my childhood I struggled with my self-confidence and didn’t truly consider myself to be beautiful until I was about 19. I was a victim of chilhood bullying and it took me a while to just wake up and say, ‘I am beautiful and that’s it, nobody can tell me otherwise’. I feel that true confidence is a mindset every woman has to train herself to have and exude. In this generation we are given images of celebrities who are size 2 and made to feel like if we are anything bigger than that, then we aren’t worthy of feeling beautiful. To go against the norms in society and own your body, your curves, and your flaws and declare you are beautiful is the definition of true confidence to me.”

Briana Nichols

‘Watching yourself dance is probably one of the most sensual confidence boosters’

“This may sound a bit corny but I have several mirrors in my bedroom, and on the largest one I wrote positive affirmations with one of my lipsticks. I look at it every morning when I wake up. ‘I am a Queen’ and ‘I am beautiful’ are two of the sayings I wrote that truly inspire me on my days when I feel down. If I still feel a little ‘blah’ I will go to the gym or even belly dance in the mirror, because watching yourself dance is probably one of the most sensual confidence boosters. Lastly, if I have the time, I will do my make-up and go and treat myself to a manicure and pedicure, and pick up a new outfit or lipstick that makes me feel sexy.”

Briana Nichols

‘Eliminate negativity, it will make you so happy, trust me’

“When I look into the mirror, physically, I see a young beautiful queen with nothing but potential ahead of her. I have so many things that I want to accomplish and if I didn’t view myself in that positive image, I wouldn’t be motivated, but to settle for mediocre has never been an option for me. I am a young woman who is actively pursuing her dreams, a full time college student who is very close to obtaining her second degree, I have a wonderful support system in my friends and family, and I am extremely blessed. I am still finding my way in this world, and everything isn’t perfect but I am happy because I know I am destined for great things, despite the setbacks I might encounter, I am happy because each day is another opportunity for my to leave my mark in the world. I try to find and see the positive in every situation, good or bad, it’s either a blessing or a lesson and it’s happening to help me grow in some way. Keeping this mindset is vital in protecting my hapiness and I encourage everyone to alter their thought process to eliminate negativity, it will make you so happy, trust me.”

Briana Nichols

‘I fell in love with the curves that compose my body’

“I have not always been body positive. When puberty hit I developed wide hips and thicker thighs, which in turn gave me stretch marks at a young age. I used to try to get rid of my stretch marks with every type of cream you can think of, they used to make me feel so insecure. And when it came to clothing it was so hard to find clothes, especially jeans to fit my hips and thighs. I had this terrible habit of not buying clothes because I wanted to ‘lose a bit of weight’ first, breaking that habit was the best thing that happened to me. What worked for me was being able to find outfits that flattered my shape, but were trendy for my age. I used to cringe at the idea of wearing bathing suits, but now I am strictly a bikini weared, because I fell in love with the curves that compose my body. I encourage every woman to undress in their bathroom or bathroom, until all that is exposed is their bare skin, and say ‘Every inch of body is beautiful, flaws and all’. The idea of loving my body has been a long time coming, and it was hard for me, but I am so thankful it happened. There is a Marilyn Monroe quote that starts off by saying ‘Imperfection is Beauty’. I live by this mantra because all of my imperfections make me uniquely beautiful.”

Briana Nichols

‘It is reassuring to see women who are built like me gaining exposure’

“Modeling has definitely helped me become more confident. It is reassuring to see women who are built like me gaining exposure. When I was younger I wanted to be the next Naomi Campbell, then puberty hit, and I felt like my dreams were crushed. Fast forward several years, I started hearing from complete strangers that I should model, and at this point I was lacking in confidence, so I never really took it seriously until I started to build up my portfolio in late 2013/ early 2014. I have always been a naturally shy person, but when I get in front of a camera, I feel a fire ignite inside of me, and its almost like I have an alter ego.”

Briana Nichols

‘Being your true self, is beautiful to me’

“I have several role models. The first being my mother who instilled the morals and values I carry with me today. She empowers me as a young black woman to be strong and never give up on my dreams. Some of my other role models are models and entertainers and they inspire me all in different ways. Tyra Banks, Iman, Jessica White and Naomi Campbell inspire me because they have blazed their own paths as woman of color in the modeling industry, and are still relevant after years of being in this industry. There are several plus size models who I admire so much, one being Anita Marshall. Not only absolutely stunning, but she proved her doubters wrong and is now one of the mainstream plus size models. She inspires me because she is close to my age and is living out her dreams. Nadia Aboulhosn and Denise Bidot inspire me as well, they are both defying the odds of what some might consider to be the ‘cant’s’ in the modeling world. Nadia is showing that there is a place for petite plus size models in this industry. And Denise is steadily booking jobs and showing that you don’t have to put off motherhood to have a succesful career. My other two role models from the entertainment world are Beyoncé and Rihanna. Beyoncé is the real life version of wonder woman. Some may look at me funny for saying that Rihanna is one of my role models, but she is for the simple reason that she is always unapologetically Rihanna. She makes no apologies for being her true self, and that is beautiful to me.”

Images: Samantha Figueroa and Madeline Jones

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