You have undoubtedly seen Nikia Phoenix's freckled face before, whether it was plastered on a billboard, highlighted on the pages of a magazine, or featured on a recent commercial for direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe. But if you haven't had the pleasure of following Phoenix's work beyond her modeling career, then you are sorely missing out.
In addition to her successful work as a model, Phoenix is a writer, founder, and longtime activist, with a passion for social equality and women's issues. She created her first blog, Model Liberation, in 2009 where she wrote about everything from how to give yourself a simple manicure for auditions to her experience being a model with natural hair. In 2016, Phoenix would connect and inspire her followers even more, launching Black Girl Beautiful, a beauty and shopping experience dedicated to celebrating and empowering women of color.
While she has written and spoken about embracing her freckles and feeling confident in her own skin, Phoenix keeps it real with her followers, opening up about her struggle with anxiety and depression, and her journey to her more confident self today.
"I used to shy away from being myself. I was quiet and uncertain about who I was. I wanted to hide," Phoenix shared in an Instagram post about taking pride in herself and her womanhood. "I know that it takes so much in this world to just be yourself. I am proud to be authentically and unapologetically me."
Phoenix may have never set out to be an "influencer," but she has always known that she has wanted to be a role model to others. "I am a dreamer, a doer, and a creator. Because I know what it feels like to be on the come-up, I want to rise and help others soar with me," she wrote on her website. "To put it simply, my name is Nikia Phoenix and I am an enabler of people with dreams."
While fans come to Phoenix's Instagram for her wisdom and motivational spirit, on a more superficial level, you cannot help but be inspired by the model/writer/founder's super fly fashion game. From gorgeous head scarves to sustainable or female-supporting fashion pieces, Phoenix is always sporting something worth swooning over.
Below, in her own words, Phoenix shares what she feels she owes to her followers and what she hopes to be remembered for.