Breaking the Mold

Destini Hope shakes society’s foundation by redefining its standard of beauty. Bold, brave, and unapologetic, Hope defies convention as a plus-size model, film-maker, make-up artist,…

Destini Hope shakes society’s foundation by redefining its standard of beauty. Bold, brave, and unapologetic, Hope defies convention as a plus-size model, film-maker, make-up artist, author, and curvy-activist. In an industry that constantly tries to define individuals by propagating farcical essences of self-image, Hope remains true to herself and discovers the beauty of loving yourself.

Destini Hope 6

Image by Elle B.

As with all success stories, Hope’s story is not bereft of challenge and adversity. As a young girl, gaining weight did not sit well with some of her family members. “I wasn’t happy, and the constant nagging tortured me mentally. I didn’t feel attractive.” The act of loving yourself isn’t an easy task, especially when outside forces keep suggesting that you aren’t worthy of love. Surrounded by images of beauty from the media, Hope was convinced her curves were a curse rather than a blessing. “I looked in the mirror a thousand times and said ‘I love myself’ but didn’t really believe it. I didn’t actually start loving myself until I was 21 years old.” Now, at the age of 22, Hope seeks to dominate the world of fashion as a plus-size model and challenge society’s idea of beauty.Hope started modeling at the age of 18 and decided to shift her career to a professional level at 20.

Image by Sequita Myers

Image by Sequita Myers

So far, she has walked in five shows throughout the DMV area and has spent countless hours with photo shoots, go-and-sees, training, and hair and make-up consultations. However, with so much time invested in her budding modeling career, Hope still manages to hold on to her passion as an artist by writing books and scripts. At the age of 17, she wrote her first novel titled, Destiny and published it at the age of 20. She currently has two more books that are pending. As a film-maker, Hope’s brain is always twisting and turning as she develops new scripts and finds local opportunities to be involved with acting and film. She is also a freelance make-up artist, striving to help other women see the beauty inherent in them. She is also working towards developing her own cosmetic line. “Love something about you,” she explains, “It doesn’t have to be physical; it can be intellectual. Just love you.” Hope explains the process of loving herself. She started with admiring one attribute and, as time went on, finally learned to love every aspect of herself. “Women and men need to learn how to love themselves. Love the kids you created. Love your eyes. Love the fact that you passed a class that you didn’t think you would. Learn to love you.”

image by Sequita Myers

Image by Sequita Myers

Since being involved in the fashion industry, Hope’s idea of beauty has changed significantly. “I thought beauty was a size six, long legs, and a long torso. But being in the fashion industry has allowed me to see different models and see everyone as beautiful in their own way. I realized I don’t have to be the black sheep.” For inspiration, Hope draws from a number of sources. “I love nature. It’s just so effortless. Nature can be beautiful and it can be ugly, but no one ever judges it.” Hope also looks to Joan Jett, rock & roll musician, and Tess Monster, model, activist, and founder ofEff Your Beauty Standards. Family is also important. “My mother inspires me because she had me at a young age, so, in a way, we grew up together. She’s my mother, friend, and teacher.My little brother also inspires me because he’s so young and carefree. If he drops his ice cream cone, he says, ‘Oh well’ and gets another one. He teaches me to relax and not take everything so seriously.” Hope stresses the importance of self-love and self-acceptance. To believe in your success, you must first believe in yourself. You have to be comfortable with not being comfortable. That starts with loving yourself.

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