the 70’s boho vibe because it totally fits with my free-spirited personality. Also, I think the 90’s trend
is amazing! I’m old enough to actually indulge in the oversized denim, crop tops, baseball caps and
PMM: Having confidence is so important, especially to young girls living in a society that reveres
unrealistic beauty standards. Was body confidence something celebrated as you grew up or did you
come to embrace your body as an adult?
Melanie: I definitely had to learn to accept my body and treat it well. I’m still learning! I struggled with
weight throughout middle school and high school. I was always told that I “have a pretty face”, which
pushed me to resent my size-16 body. I’m so grateful for my mom and sister for encouraging me and
telling me I was beautiful at any size and that weight didn’t matter, health does. My parents and family
definitely helped to build my confidence; also expressing myself through the performing arts (acting)
and fashion helped.
It wasn’t until college where I really started working on a plan to get to a healthy weight while
maintaining my curves. I adjusted my lifestyle and went from a size 14 to a size 12 and focused on
gradually moving towards a more holistic and active lifestyle. That, along with going natural in 2011,
helped boost my confidence and my self-love even more. It’s still a work in progress to stay confident
in a filter/photoshop, “slim thick” and “not too Black” obsessed world. But I focus on embracing ALL
of me, and being gentler with myself instead of being hypercritical. No one is perfect but how YOU see
yourself and how you carry your individual beauty is what’s most important.
For bookings visit www.DorothyCombsModels.com
Follow Melanie on Instagram @thesoulasylum