Joan Smalls is the next Vixen to land Lucky Magazine’s cover for their May 2015 issue and we’re loving everything, from the supermodel‘s cover look, to her words on life in Puerto Rico and the Big Apple.
Catch what Smalls had to say and snippets in Lucky‘s latest below:
On her childhood back home in Hatillo, Puerto Rico:
“‘It’s country. Everything surrounding you is green. It’s pure bliss’… She’s admittedly tired, but her wide, catlike eyes light up when recounting her childhood: the hours spent playing outside (“scars from all the scraped knees are my badges of honor”), tending to her family’s array of animals (“cow, goats, chickens, peacocks, turkeys, two dogs–everything except horses” Smalls digs into food saying, “Today everyone is all about organic this, organic that–but that’s just how I grew up, eating from our plantain, banana, and orange trees. It’s funny, I never even liked avocados until recently. And we had them in my backyard, so now they’re almost like comfort food. I had it so good when I was a little kids and I didn’t even know it!”
On the idea of modeling as a child and her early beginnings in the game:
“‘I couldn’t even imagine–these were women who got to travel the world. It just seemed so alluring.'” She also recognized a bit of herself in their images. ‘I was so awkward-looking–tall, super skinny, gangly. The boys at school made fun of me,’ she says… At 13, she began singing up for modeling competitions, which involved traveling–sometimes for hours–to compete at shopping malls. ‘I lost every single time. We had a gray minivan, and one time it broke down during a long drive home, and I remember thinking, Is this even worth it?”
On life in New York City and rejection:
“‘New York was quite a shock, but I was so eager and hungry,’ she says. ‘I’d take the bus to get on the subway to make it to castings.’ And then came the rejections–hundreds of them. ‘You’re competing with 40, 100, 200 other girls. You go to a call, see the casting list and you’re number 202. And you know there are just a couple of open spots.”
Vixens, read the rest of Smalls’ interview here.