Brooklynite Davinnia Fonseca has always been natural. Though she wanted to chemically straighten her hair as a child her mother refused to let her. Now, she embraces her natural hair and uses it as a tool to market herself in the modeling world.
How long have you been a model?
I’ve been modeling for 2-3 years now.
How did you get started modeling?
It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager. I had talked to some of my coworkers about it and they really encouraged me to try it out. One of them heard about an audition they couldn’t make it to and gave me the details. I had never auditioned before and had no idea what to expect. I’m sure my walk was terrible and I didn’t really like wearing high heels. I showed up anyways and I was the last girl to be seen. Turns out they liked me and invited me to be in the show.
How has the experience been for you?
I will say that it can be time and money consuming at times and the day of a show can be quite hectic and stressful. The finished product is usually worth it though. I’ve loved the experience. Not only have I met some really great people. I also like being that “new face” and that “new shape” that I didn’t have as a girl growing up. I understand the importance of seeing yourself in the world around you. If I can be that link that broadens some young woman’s vision for herself that’s pretty magical.
What other interests do you have besides modeling and singing?
Writing poetry and spoken word–there’s a song on my Instagram called “Blackbird” and it’s by a great artist named P.U.R.E. out of Philly. It was my first time writing for a project and my first time recording. I’m also an amateur photographer, and I can draw and paint.
Do you feel as if natural hair is being represented in the modeling world?
I feel like natural hair is definitely finding its own place in the modeling world. I also believe we should embrace everyone’s natural beauty and see a more honest sampling of hair lengths and textures. From an artist’s POV I believe natural hair is another tool in marketing your product–another possibility in your design. Why wouldn’t people want to have as many options as possible in their arsenal? That’s actually one of my favorite things about having natural hair. It’s so flexible. I can braid it, i can wear it straight, long, short, or twisted into knots. I have the option to wear wigs, or weaves, or curl it.
How are you “living naturally”?
Thinking about it, sometimes being natural and a model seems to contradict each other. Despite wearing makeup for jobs and changing your appearance as designers and photographers see fit, I think it is important to love your natural self. I’ve learned to stopping fighting what can’t be changed and to love who I am. It’s a very broad statement but it applies to everything from when your hair just wont let you achieve the look you were going for to thinking hard about what products you use and the food you put in your body. So I try to live naturally by embracing myself here and now while striving to improve.
What are your thoughts on the representation of natural hair in the media?
I’m glad that natural hair had found its place. I will also be happy for its expansion to include all lengths and textures. I think social media had given some of the power back to the everyday person. So while right now there are natural looks that get elevated over others I think we can influence that by representing ourselves and supporting pages on social media.
Tell us about your “Choose Love” mantra?
Choose Love is my personal mantra because it’s a reminder that you always have an option in how your interact with the world and yourself. Especially with yourself. I really believe you can not love others effectively until you love yourself.
What impact are you making/plan to make in the world?
I’m not exactly sure what my legacy will be but I want to leave the world better than it was given to me. In the very least work on myself and try not to pass on any negativity and pain. I want to the people around me to say that I added to their lives and the people to don’t know me but see my images to feel empowered. Right now, I sponsor a child but mentoring had always been a passion so I try to be available to the young women in my life.
Photos by Rick Jones of RJonesPhotography