Jessica Gyasi mentors young models to focus on their inner beauty

TEDxAmsterdamWomen - Jessica Gyasi

Jessica Gyasi is a Dutch model, writer, filmmaker and coach with Ghanaian roots. She opens her TEDxAmsterdamWomen talk by sketching a scene at a modeling scout agency. “You’re gorgeous. If you were white we would have signed you on the spot. Next.” This is not the first time she’s heard this statement. “Can you imagine what it does to the self esteem of a 15-year-old girl, if you have to work twice as hard because of the color of your skin?”

When she was discovered by a formel black model who understood her struggle, things started to change. Jessica worked for Dior and with her role model Naomi Campbell. Even though she experienced success, she still felt worthless and inferior – until she had enough and started changing her attitude towards herself. “I started making my inner beauty a top priority, through therapy, meditation, and journaling.”

Jessica decided to create a platform for change, Model for Models, where she already helped 130 young models to feel more empowered by providing them with mentors to help them change their perspectives. She also reminded the audience at TEDxAmsterdamWomen to remember their own self worth: “You have all the power within you to overcome your struggles by changing the way you talk to yourself.”