Aneesah Hanan is a professional model, entrepreneur, and skincare enthusiast who has graced the runways, magazines, and commercials for over 15 years. Her experience within Fashion and Beauty afforded her to work with some of the best photographers in the industry. She has taken her knowledge, drive, and passion to now move behind the scenes to specialize in model development.
LS: What made you decide to step into the fashion and beauty industry?
AH: It’s exciting. It’s always evolving. New creatives!
LS: What is your definition of beauty and why is it important to support its inclusivity?
AH: My definition doesn’t include external. In my experience beauty is overcoming obstacles, speaking up, peace, physical and mental health.
LS: Starting as a model, what were some of your biggest challenges, and how did you take those lessons learned and apply them to your current business?
AH: One of my biggest challenges was dealing with my insecurities. I experienced people telling me “Oh, your so pretty and or you’re so skinny, you should model!” and when I expressed an issue, there was this shock. I would hear “What!, you are too pretty to be depressed!” I didn’t think I was pretty. It’s weird that people associated pretty, talented, and rich with “Perfect life with no issues!” That's absurd! So I decided to step back and take a break. I did the work to get healthy and jumped right back into it. The lesson that I am still learning to apply is making sure I stop to breathe and regroup. When you are in a fog, you are no good to anyone or anything.
LS: Tell me what made you want to be a part of Fashion Mingle The Real Experts of Modeling online course and what will you be contributing?
AH: It was an opportunity to connect, learn and teach. I will be contributing my expertise on the basics of skincare. I believe skincare has gotten too complicated. No one’s skin is alike. What may work for one, may not work for another. Honey, keep it simple!
LS: What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
AH: Remain teachable
LS: When you think about the contributions of African American women to the fashion and beauty industry, what is the impact you want your legacy to have?
AH: I hope to inspire people to embrace and accept themselves the way they are.
LS: How have you adapted to the changes COVID has on the fashion and beauty industry?
AH: Change is uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable for me because I had a routine and I was comfortable with my routine. LOL! Fortunately, I just learned to adapt. There were only two choices available…stop or move forward. Covid may have halted many but for others, it was just another way to step up and become more innovative.
LS: How do you feel mental health influences how we see ourselves and view beauty as a whole?
AH: Mental health plays a big part. I have had so many conversations with women who were aesthetically beautiful on the outside but were dealing with so many internal issues. Beauty sells, so the focus is physical. It’s nothing personal, it’s business. That’s just the hard truth. These models are booked based on their physical attributes. We hope they have a great attitude, lol! They are also human. These same models are going home not eating, crying, suffering from negative thoughts, and suicide from the result of unresolved trauma or devastating incidents. In my personal opinion, I think that some pursue modeling for the wrong reasons. This industry will eat you alive if you’re not careful.
LS: What words of encouragement will you give to the youth as it relates to beauty standards and how many have fallen victim to the false sense of security the media has created?
AH: Don’t believe the media hype. It’s okay to be different. It’s one thing to explore and become inspired but don’t meditate on it. Then you will find yourself obsessing and creating a negative perception of yourself. Instead learn to be kind, loving, and honest to yourself.
LS: What is next for your brand and vision?
AH: At the current moment, my vision is to create brands that inspire humans to be who they are. To be free and to embrace being different.
The main cover picture in cape
(& on the front cover of The Indie Post Magazine) : The Ark Collection, La Prommesse
Designer: Jennifer Sutton @Jennifer Sutton
Photographer: Deelite Photography @deelitphoto
Mua: Sara Shakir @lasarmua