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How Caring Less About Fitting In Changed Supermodel Adwoa Aboah's Life

Certain women don’t even have to speak to communicate with you. You feel their effervescent presence as soon as you enter their space. It’s what differentiates a woman who truly knows herself from others. This compelling, strong energy is what supermodel Adwoa Aboah exudes. We first met at the Sunken Living Room in Spring Studios, home to the biggest fashion shows in New York City—a fitting space for meeting this powerhouse of a model in, to say the least.

The room is decked out with a red carpet and red velvet couches that sink into the floor. The moment I stepped foot into this opulent space, I held my breath for a few seconds. It’s this thing I do when I’m nervous, which only happens when I’m about to meet someone I truly admire. Aboah was standing there in an all-white Armani pantsuit coupled with vintage-inspired rings on every finger and draped in gold necklaces. She greeted me with a big smile, flashing her signature tooth gem. Pure dopeness encapsulated her entire demeanor.

Aboah and I sat down to talk in celebration of her being the face of Sì Passione from Giorgio Armani, a fire-red fragrance she described to me as “feminine and masculine, yet sweet, flowery, and girly. It embodies every part of what it means to be a female, and I love that the campaign is full of strong women.” It sounded like Aboah, a 25-year-old London native, was describing herself. Aboah is more than a model—she’s an activist who uses her work in and outside of the fashion industry as a force for good.

Her stunningly freckled face has graced major campaigns with Revlon, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Versace, Chanel, Miu Miu, and more. And she made waves when Edward Enninful, the first black editor of British Vogue, appointed her as his first Ghanaian cover star. Considering the painful history of the lack of representation in major magazines, seeing Adwoa’s face on this cover was a win for women of color everywhere.

On top of her monumental work in the fashion industry, she founded her own nonprofit organization in 2015, Gurls Talk, a safe haven for young girls to discuss topics surrounding mental health, sexual identity, race, and more. After overcoming drug addiction and struggling with depression, Aboah made a decision to foster this community of young women, which she calls her “tribe,” to lean on one another for support.

She’s the epitome of a role model, defying societal standards of beauty and living life on her own terms while helping others along the way. She uses her voice as a vessel to speak her truth, which is raw, genuine, empowering, and unapologetic. Her platform means so much in the rocky racial climate of our society. She’s inspiring everyone to just do what’s right for them, even if others deem it unconventional. This is why my nerves were high seconds before meeting her—my respect for her dedication to authentic representation runs deep.

However, the nerves quickly faded when we eased into our conversation. She shared her honest thoughts on diversity, mental health, self-confidence, and more.