The Stunning – Renee Bhagwandeen #ANTM by: Jeffrey Young


JY: Tell me some of the basics. What high school / college did you attend? Interests and hobbies?
RB: I attended South Plantation High School in sunny south Florida! This is where I BElieve I came into my own and met some of the most amazing people which are still apart of my life. I graduated early and started to pursue higher education. While my friends were still in high school, I found it hard to stay put, so I move around a lot starting with Broward College, then moved to Orlando for a business and marketing internship. After that I headed back to south Florida and enrolled in the Marketing program at Miami Dade College. I like writing the most, it’s what I do when I’m stressed or need to vent. I get it from my mother who is a published writer and publisher. I really love to cook. I think in a past life, I was Chef Boyardee or something. One of my life goals is to open a food truck called Icey Truck (coming very soon).

JY: What does fashion mean to you?
RB: Fashion, to me, is a life style. It’s how I get to express myself, either a fancy diva or grunge chic. I like to go with my morning moods lol. When I wake up, how I’m feeling that day, dictates my fashion choices. There are times when I let my surroundings dress me. Ever city has a fashion influence and I’m inspired to try some thing new. Fashion is like my personality on the outside.

JY: Who are some of your favorite designers, and why?
RB: Karl Lagerfeld is a genius, his designs are simply timeless. I absolutely love the level or class mixed with edge that some of his unique pieces have. But what woman doesn’t love Chanel? I also love Carolina Herrera’s designs. She understands women and her pieces are very feminine. My favorite is her wedding gowns. I have a small obsession with weddings.

JY: What are some of your community service initiatives as a model?
RB: I started a group of models called The Icey Truck SweetHearts. We put on charity fashion shows and catered events with our signature cupcakes. I was briefly an elementary school teacher and when that school was broken into, The SweetHearts and I raised money to help replace the missing items and also threw a block party at the school for the students. I also love animals, so in Palm Beach we led a huge protest against a puppy mill. We were able to get so much media and community support that the business no longer operates, which I am very proud of.  I am currently writing a book for kids that will inspire that to turn around the effects of bullying. I want The SweetHearts to turn turmoil into triumph.

JY: Does your profession interfere with you love life?
RB: Yes! I travel a lot so it hard to build a healthy relationship. I’m not a big dater but it’s hard to find someone that understands my job and lifestyle. I’m currently single and happy. I am doing what I love and when the right man comes around, he’ll understand.

JY: What is your most embarrassing moment on America’s Next Top Model?
RB: I was pretty embarrassed that the whole world got to watch how shy I was with boys. Most people don’t take me for a shy person and I’m usually not but when I like someone, I turn into a 13 year old girl and can’t stop blushing. I guess that’s why I don’t date that often. The butterflies take over and everything just hits the fan. smh!

JY: What do you find rewarding about modeling? What do you find as a hindrance?
RB: The biggest reward for me is that modeling helped me find my independence. I grew up in a very sheltered but loving home and as the oldest, everyone had certain expectations about who I should BE. No one expected me to turn out a model. When I turned 18, I saw my goals and went for it, even if it meant going against my parent’s wishes. I knew modeling was for me and by following my dream; I was able to become independent, not just financially but in my own mind. I created my own path; the one I believe God intended for me and it feels so good. There are many hindering components in the modeling industry. The one that bothers me the most is the fact that the same opportunities don’t exist for black models. Most shows and clients have excluded us for their line up or just use one or two of us. I don’t like the lack of diversity but I do see a change happening. I think the solution at the moment is that we must BE nothing short of perfection and they will have no choice but to include us.

JY: How do you prepare for a modeling shoot?
RB: I get lots of rest the night BEfore and make sure I am briefed on what is expected of me. When I know what the client wants, I try to relate it to a part of myself and express that in my pictures.

JY: Do you feel that reality TV portrayed you validly? Or do you feel it didn’t capture the “real you”?
RB: I don’t think reality TV could truly define any person. They show bits and pieces of my personality and a little extra for a dramatic effect. I will say that I am very feisty, outspoken, and a little crazy but one thing I don’t think anyone could mistake about me is that I am very determined and love what I do; no matter what, I will BE successful.

JY: Anything else you would like to let your fans know?
RB: I want all my fans to know that I am overwhelmed by your support. I’ve NEVER had much support when it comes to my career and seeing all of you BElieving in me and my dream like I do, makes me the most blessed girl in the world!. Thank you so much for your support.

Don’t forget to follow me on IG and twitter @ReneeBigtime and look out for my book and lip-gloss line coming very soon!

Renee Bhagwandeen
Twitter @ReneeBigTime
Instagram @ReneeBigTime

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Photo Credits: http://reneebhagwandeen.com/

By: Jeffrey Young/SC Contributor/BE-Style

About the author

Maurice J. Lawyer has written 332 articles for BE Entertained Magazine

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