Note from BW of Brazil: Well anyone who heard about this story recently just knew that she would make headlines here at BW of Brazil! I mean, her whole story is what this blog is all about! A black woman with salient African features and rockin’ cabelo black power (an afro). And she’s from Salvador, Bahia, the city whose nickname is Roma Negra, meaning Black Rome! Of course congrats are in order as her victory brings yet another topic that we consistently speak on here: black representation. But in typically Brazilian fashion, there IS one problem with the way she won. She was the ONLY black woman in the contest! The more things change the more they remain the same! Anyway, congratulations to Ana Flávia!
Meet the young woman from Mussurunga who made history as first black woman to win the Ford Models contest
Ana Flávia, 20, won a four-year contract worth R$150,000 by winning the 2016 Supermodel of the World Brasil
By Verena Paranhos
Six months ago, Ana Flávia, 20, didn’t even have a pair of heels, much less thought she could achieve the dream of being a model. At 1.79m (5’10”), the resident of Mussurunga even thought of pursuing a career, but saw the realization of the wish as something distant. “I never had the money for this, I thought I had to pay to make a book,” she said by telephone from São Paulo.
Last Saturday, the baiana (Bahian) achieved a feat for her recent career: she became the first black woman to win the Super Model of The World – a Ford Models Brasil contest created 34-year ago in the country – topping the other 15 competitors. “It was wonderful for the representativeness. I’m opening doors for other meninas negras (black girls). I received lots of messages telling me that I was serving as an inspiration.”
As a prize, Ana Flávia will sign a four-year contract worth R$150,000 with one of the leading modeling agencies in the world. “When they called my name at the final, I didn’t believe it. I stepped forward and did the only thing I could do: smile. I spent the night anesthetized. It still hasn’t clicked in,” she says.
Before joining the competition that revealed names such as Adriana Lima, Ana Flávia stepped on a runway for the first time at Afro Fashion Day (AFD), an event promoted by Correio (newspaper) to celebrate the Day of Black Consciousness on November 20th. “She’s an uncommon beauty that we’re used to seeing,” said Fagner Bispo, the fashion producer who put on this edition of the parade. “Bahia has a lot of nice people. The AFD puts a spotlight on these people who often go unnoticed,” he added.
Sharing an apartment on Avenida Paulista with other girls, she’s still trying to understand what happened. The new face will see her stay in the capital of São Paulo extend for a few more days and the plans for her career to grow vertiginously. “She has exceeded expectations and has already had super-positive feedback on the international market. Possibly, she will travel to Europe and the United States next year to work in both commercial and fashion,” said Bruno Vicente, scouter of Ford Brasil, who selected the baiana on the local stage of the contest.
Daughter of an unemployed bricklayer and a general service assistant, Ana Flávia was born and raised in Mussurunga, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Salvador. In 2013, she finished school and started looking for a job, but her lack of experience has hurt her. In May, while attending training to be a salesperson at a mall, she learned about a modeling contest.
The young lady let the opportunity pass, but Danilo Araújo, who told her about the selection, didn’t. Her acquaintance showed her profile on the social network to scouter Vinny Vasconcellus, who he contacted but only got a response more than a month later. “The picture on the internet was old, I couldn’t see it right. When she went to the agency and I saw her in person, I said, ‘That’s it!’ It was a girl who thought she was ugly because she was tall and thin, and stayed home embarrassed. On the same day, I took a photo, presented it to an agency in São Paulo and started the preparation,” says Vinny.
The transformation included catwalk lessons and aesthetic and psychological work. “It was a whole process that presented the leap for her, a crude stone, with no a notion of beauty. Then the thing flowed and she started to have more self-esteem,” he says.
Her great references are the singers Beyoncé and Rihanna, besides the model Naomi Campbell. “They are empowered and proud of it. Having inspiration is cool, but I want to seek my best forever. People have an obsession of asking if the model wants to be the next Gisele, but she is unique. I want to be the next Ana Flávia,” said the new top (model), the pride of the family. “Since when she was small, people said she was going to be a model. When that story came along, I was sort of like this. But I left her, I did her will,” says Edinice dos Santos, Ana’s mother.
Source: Correio 24 Horas