We had the good fortune of connecting with Abcedy Carson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Abcedy, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success as a model is dedication. Growing up, because of my appearance, I was always talked about. From a young age, when I would be out in public, many people would stare or participate in microagressions such as “petting” my hair without permission or warning. Given the difference in treatment I experienced, I adopted the mindset that I was unlike my peers and that being different or looking differently was a negative thing. To my surprise, when I started my modeling career I received many compliments regarding my “look”. I still struggle with understanding that there isn’t any one standard of beauty that must be met and that beauty is subjective. I have just recently come to terms with trying to embrace my appearance and modeling has, and continues to, help me learn how to not just accept the way I look, but work to love who I am. If I had given up every time I heard that I “just wasn’t what someone was looking for”, I would not be where I am today with the opportunities that I now have. Adjusting your perspective and realizing that your sense of self-worth is rooted internally is crucial to finding success. Remaining dedicated to yourself is challenging but when you prioritize self care and set aside time for yourself, you not only see your career flourish, but you also see yourself grow as an individual.

Risk taking:

As a teenage model, you take a lot of risks. I suppose that it comes with the territory. When you enter the industry, as wonderful and creative as it may be, you have to prioritize your mental and physical well being. That being said, you are taking a risk every time you go to a casting or you decide participate in a show. You often face rejection and if you’re not in the right headspace, it can be really discouraging. However, as you take these risks, you gain experience and understanding of how to be successful as a model. Personally, I sacrifice quite a bit of my free time by modeling but I’m okay with it as it’s something I enjoy and, oftentimes, the “risks” that I take pay off every time I book a job or develop a connection with someone who works in the industry. I mention this time commitment as I dedicate the majority of time to my studies. As you can imagine, as a dual enrolled college student, much of my time is spent studying and completing coursework. With modeling, I can take my focus off of my studies for a few hours and be creative in front of the camera. If I didn’t take risks as a model, I don’t think that I would’ve met the caring and supportive people that I’m now acquainted with or had the opportunities that I’ve been blessed to experience so far.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It certainly hasn’t been easy to reach the point that I’m at now in my modeling career. As mentioned previously, it is a large time commitment between attending castings, going to shoots, practicing runway, sending in applications, exercising, and networking. While there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration, it really comes down to who you are at the core. If you don’t spend time working on yourself, you’ll see problems arise in other areas. That’s one of the hardest lessons that I’ve had to learn so far. If you’re not confident, it will show in your photographs, walk, and at auditions. If you’re not genuine, making connections and friendships can be a lot harder. There’s truly so many things to consider when building your brand as a model. I have found that it’s never a bad idea to support those around you, especially considering that many people view others merely as “competition”. After all, everyone at castings and shows is there to work and become better. It’s taken a lot of self reflection to reach where I am today. I had to set my priorities straight and reconsider what was best for myself and those around me. I hope that when people hear about me or see me they realize that it’s okay to be yourself. That it’s better to be kind and turned away than it is to be cruel and accepted. It helps me to realize that we’re all individuals with our own hobbies, interests, and perceptions. If we realize this, it’s much easier to see why beauty should not be taken at face value, but instead, that there is so much more to learn from every individual we encounter.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Firstly, I love this question. If my best friend was new to the area and wanted to go exploring, I’d say that we’d go to downtown Phoenix first. Seeing the city lights at night is a beautiful experience. With all of the small businesses, there’s plenty of things to explore. I’d also recommend attending a basketball game as it’s a wholesome experience to watch everyone support the city together. Next, I’d recommend sitting in on a slam poetry competition. I’ve competed in competitions before and have published a few of my own works as well. It’s a really rejuvenating experience to see people be so creative and vulnerable in a community of likeminded strangers. Another day I’d suggest visiting the Phoenix art museum. With such a vast collection of works, anyone can find something that suits their tastes. After exploring the museum, I’d probably bring them to an antique store. One of my favorite local spots is the brass armadillo antique mall. I enjoy perusing the isles and imagining where each antique came from and what the story is behind it. Finally, I’d find a small tea shop that we could enjoy before hiking to the top of a mountain or driving to a hill to enjoy an Arizona sunset. The local concerts are always a great way to spend a day out as well.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s true that success is rarely reached alone. My family has always been supportive of my modeling endeavors. My mother and grandmother specifically have spent a lot of their time helping me get to castings and meetings, etc. I’m so incredibly grateful to have them in my life and supporting my efforts. I owe a lot of my successes to their willingness to help.

Instagram: Abcedy.carson

Image Credits
Photographs featuring red sequin jacket and black dresses: Sammie & Dannie
Remaining photographs: Cesar Piero

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