As a model, do you have to alter your appearance to make it in the industry?

This past Tuesday, I interviewed my wonderful model sister, Deonna Leigh, on our platform ‘Model Talk Tuesdays.” 

I met Deonna, when I went on tour as an Ebony Fashion Fair model. We traveled to hundreds of cities together, as we walked the runway in couture gowns. Deonna is an All-Star Ebony Fashion Fair model, walking for 6 seasons, and one of my favorite models. She lights up the runway!

Deonna modeling for Ebony Fashion Fair

“I find myself always saying tour, when I talk about my journey as a model. I miss Ebony Fashion Fair, it was one of the highlights of my life.”

Deonna was born in California, and modeled in her first event when she was 3 years. As a teen she competed for Miss Kansas, and received 3rd runner up. She later modeled for Ebony Fashion Fair, and then went on to New York. 

‘As I was going to different agencies, they liked my photos, yet, when I came in for an interview, they would say we like everything…but my nose. I heard this time and time again.’

‘After years of hearing this comment about my nose, I decided to get a nose job. I know I was born to be a model, and I was not going to let this one thing stop me.’ says Deonna.

Deonna also mentioned a story about a model, her agent was representing, that received a comment from an agency, that they did not like her ears, and that she should do surgery to correct them. Oppose to doing surgery, the model shaved her head, and made her ears more apparent as a part of her beauty. Shortly after, she was signed to one of the top agency in the world. 

As Deonna mentioned these stories during our interview, I thought about Dani, the winner of America’s Next Top Model. I just saw a clip of her discussing Tyra Banks telling her to close her gap. 


Deonna has model for Ebony Fashion Fair, ELLE Greece, Century 21, Teri John, Teen Vogue, Betsey Johnson, just to name a few.  

Deonna’s Pearl of Wisdom: Never give up on your dreams. 

What do you feel about the pressure models receive to alter their look?

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