Founder of “A Model Transcends” Shares How Fashion and Natural Hair Shaped Her Identity
What is your name, age and what do you currently do?
“My name is Ciara Cherise Matos and I’m 21 years old. I am a fashion model and blogger! I’m currently signed with a mother agent, and I’m on the verge of pursuing a full-time modeling career. I run my fashion and lifestyle blog titled A Model Transcends, which is where I showcase my other passions aside from modeling. I write about my style, experiences, and travels, but I hope to add more content to it as I continue to grow.”
How has fashion played a role in your life? How would you describe your style?
“Fashion has helped me truly define myself. Throughout my adolescence, I was unsure of what my interests were. I had a hard time trying to figure out what made me stand out. I tried different activities and picked up hobbies that I would often time never stick with. But there was one thing that persisted, and that was fashion. I used to hoard Vogue magazines and get lost in the pages of inspiration, which soon led to binge-reading blogs and studying various brands. I’d have mini photo shoots in my room as I crafted different looks. When I’d get complimented on the way that I dressed, it was an initial shock to me being that I used to be so self-conscious. Sometimes you don’t realize how those minute details can lead up to something huge, and be a true testament as to what you’ll be pursuing in life. Fashion brought out the confidence and creativity within me that I never knew I possessed. As I continue to mature and grow I feel that my looks are ever changing, but I’d say that my overall style is minimalist with street fashion influences. I try to channel a “model off duty” vibe in my looks, which tend to consist of simple silhouettes with on-trend design detailing and bold accessories. Sneakers are my footwear of choice, and I love to thrift; I know I can find some one-of-a-kind gems to spice up my minimalistic palette.”
Can you describe a significant moment in your life that has shaped the person you are today?
“My decision to let my hair go natural was a really significant moment in my life. My mom used to perm my hair since I was a child. When I was finally old enough to make my own choices, I decided I wanted a change. Being that I live and work in a predominantly white neighborhood, I was initially afraid of the reactions that I’d receive. Now I am 2 years in, and I am so deeply in love with my curls; it’s almost like I’m reborn. To this day I’ll still receive a few ignorant comments with people telling me my hair is “too wild” or “all over the place”. But I am so happy and confident with the way I look that I could care less about the negativity, and I feel that it speaks to the young woman that I am growing into today. After many years of dealing with self-consciousness and insecurities, this journey has shown me how courageous and strong I actually am. I’ve learned to love what I was born with, and I’ve never felt more powerful.”
What is your greatest struggle?
“My greatest struggle is learning to trust my journey. I always find myself stressing because I’m not where I want to be yet. Sometimes I’ll place myself under serious amounts of pressure to do more and be more. But what I fail to realize is that everything in life happens exactly when it’s supposed to. Everything that we go through--whether it’s good or bad--is a learning experience and a chapter in our stories to success. Timing is everything, and patience is a virtue. Remain focused and positive, and the rest will follow!”
Where do you see hope to see yourself in 5 years and what continues to motivate you to pursue your dreams?
“In 5 years, I hope to be a successful fashion model and public figure. I want to be an inspiration to young women and men who are trying to chase their dreams but may sometimes lack the confidence. My passion and drive are what continue to motivate me. Both the fashion and modeling industries can be cut-throat, and it’s easy to get discouraged. However, every morning I wake up with that same desire in my heart to pursue my dreams. I may fall but I get right back up, and that shows that what I want is meant for me. My friends, family, and readers of my blog also give me the confidence that I need to keep working hard. Knowing that you have people who believe in you makes the journey worthwhile.”
By: Rajaa Singh