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Be Who You Are, And OWN It – Conversation with Nikki Easonby Bryan Li on March 12, 2019
“I am so much more than this!”
This is a thought that all of us have had at some point in our careers — a realization that you have more to offer to this world than what is expected of you. For Nikki Eason, creator & producer of The Androgynous Model, that realization came to her when she was a D-1 basketball player for the University of Georgia and D-2 ball for Winston-Salem State University, which is part of the CIAA.
“I want to be a business owner — an influencer. I want to promote change and empower others to do the same.” She said.
Nikki believes acceptance & equality are the core principles that make this world better. In 2012, she started her own marketing company Between Us Inc., a group made up of small businesses/events designed to promote the change and awareness we need. While that was a very satisfying accomplishment for Nikki, she knew it wasn’t enough.
Expressing her masculinity through various forms has always been a passion of hers, especially when it comes to wearing men’s clothing. But, our society has a history of rejecting people that are just like her, people that are being treated unfairly because of who they are and how they dress. She wanted to create opportunities for everyone to come together and to share their stories of fighting for acceptance. With that goal in mind, Nikki created The Androgynous Model series on YouTube in 2013.
The Influence of Androgyny
The Androgynous Model encourages people like Nikki to be brave in their journey of accepting their true self and natural beauty. Androgyny is rooted deeply in our history, going as far back to the ancient Sumer civilization in Mesopotamia. Androgyny has also influenced many of our historic figures— from the French war hero, Joan Of Arc (which is Nikki’s given line name from her sorority Delta Sigma Theta), to one of the most recognizable and influential American fashion icons in Katharine Hepburn.
But, even with such significant force to our society, androgynous people are still struggling with acceptance and fighting for equality everyday. In the words and efforts of the late Dr. Sandra Bem, an American psychologist known for her works in androgyny and gender studies, “Androgyny is based on personality, not sexuality.” That is something Nikki wanted to address in her show.
“For many androgynous people that struggle with confidence and self love, this is motivation for them to know that YOU’RE GOOD ENOUGH AND YOU CAN BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU WHENEVER YOU WANT TO BE,” Nikki said.
Broadcasting from Charlotte to the World
Since Nikki launched The Androgynous Model in 2013, she has been contacted by androgynous people all over the country and the world who are inspired by her courage. For example. androgynous women from Cameroon and Nigeria have expressed their interests in sharing their stories on Nikki’s platform.
Approximately 50 models have auditioned and appeared during the show’s first two seasons. The Androgynous Model is currently in its 3rd season of production in Charlotte with a focus on helping these models find purpose in their work. Nikki hopes it will demonstrate the need for their acceptance and the benefits of what androgynous people bring to businesses. She will use statistics to educate viewers all about androgyny and the importance for diversity and inclusion.
The third season of The Androgynous Model, scheduled to be released this fall, is offering internships, film and media production opportunities for people that want to take part in this movement.
When asked about the next milestone for The Androgynous Model, Nikki responded without hesitation, “The OWN network. That is where this platform belongs. Oprah has inspired millions to be proud of who you are. She has inspired me to be who I am today. Nothing will stop me to become the best version of me. Through what I’ve created, I want to be the change I wish to see in this world and inspire others to do the same.”
Watch the trailer for the first season of The Androgynous Model. Click here to subscribe to the show.
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Main Photo Credit: Avery Scott Photography