[Venus] Vanessa Veasley: The Miseducation Of Ms. Veasley
What a cruel joke it was on mankind for God to create Vanessa Veasley. Forget about her looks for a second (we know…that’s pretty difficult) and just admire what she has brought to the table as a woman. She defies the notion that the better looking you are, the less intelligent you have to be to make it in life. Her curves and pouty lips are the things men would sell their mother off in exchange for a steamy one night stand. But her mind forces you to reconsider an evening of conquest and challenges you to step your life up in order to wife up. Intimidating? Absolutely. But once you muster up the energy to utter a pleasantry, you’ll soon realize that she’s the cooler than the other side of the pillow. Vanessa Veasley is the epitome of what this website is all about. She’s the nerdiest of the nerds trapped in a goddesses body. She’ll climb 50 floors for the American Lung Association’s “Fight For Air” campaign and can take your breath away with one of her steamy photo shoots. We sat down with Philly’s finest to discuss her racy Supreme photo shoot, the difference between art and porn, the misconceptions people have about her and so much more.
TheWellVersed: The Supreme photo shoot was some kind of wonderful eh? How does it feel to be the “curviest and darkest” woman to be featured for the Supreme book and have the opportunity to shoot with Terry Richardson?
Vanessa Veasley: It was definitely an experience! I’m not sure yet which exactly has had more impact on me, the shoot itself, or the fan reaction to it. I mean, I had members of my own team saying I wasn’t going to be chosen for Supreme. I’ve dealt with naysayers my whole career, so it felt good to book yet another job others thought was out of my reach.
Shooting with Terry was overwhelming. In a good way. His whole team was super upbeat & professional. It goes in my top 3 favorite shoots ever.
VV: I went there knowing we were going to push the limits & do something more daring & gritty then what my fans know me for. I’ve posed implied and in mirco thongs for multiple publications, but I usually carry over the flirty, girl-next-door attitude with it. This shoot was raw, overtly sexual, bitchy even, which I’ve always had in me but never showcased in my shoots.
He also really pushed me physically in poses that I’ve never attempted. I always know a shoot was great when I have to take aspirin the next day.
TWV: How hard on you on yourself after seeing the finished product of your work. And this is considering not only photo shoots but anything that you do that is presented to an audience of thousands?
VV: I’m pretty critical by nature. I’m always the first of my friends to notice continuity errors in movies, & mistakes in print ads, so its kind of normal that I’m detail oriented and a little anal on my shoots & shoots of others that I direct. However, I care more about the overall theme or feel of a shoot then I do about airbrushing, hair, & imperfections. I’ve learned over the years that even if something is perfect in those areas, someone will still pick you apart. Once it’s done & out there I just try to see what worked & what didn’t & keep learning; Rather than spend energy being hard on myself for something which at that point can’t be changed.
TWV: There are so many misconceptions about beautiful women who pose in front of a camera. However, you punch those stereotypes in the face with the impact of a Mike Tyson right hook, is that part of your crusade as an individual to show that a beautiful woman who models doesn’t have to be considered an airhead?
VV: Haha! It’s certainly not part of my crusade at all. I never thought it was cool to play stupid. I also never thought it was a good idea to play smart or cool if you’re not. All day I watch girls fake being “brainiacs”, just like some pretend to like football, pretend to be gamers, pretend to love UFC, etc. to win over male fans. Then you see fans ask them questions and wait for the awkward pause as she googles a proper response. You can’t force it.
My natural intelligence & interests are just a part of me. A lot of it was hidden for a while because as a Bikini, & Commercial model it’s about the product, not the girl selling it. In the Urban, Counter-Culture, & Indie Fashion arenas that I’m becoming more known in, it’s about me or about the collab of me and the brand, so I’m finally allowed bring more of myself to the forefront.
It’s amazing that many people on the outside(usually women) still don’t know how wrap their head around a hot woman having substance. I pose half-naked in magazines & for clothing brands so I must not have had a good father, upbringing, education, or integrity. While I chuckle quietly inside and stop myself from making them feel worse about themselves, I’m just content that I have the respect and backing of many of the people those girls actually look up to. Yes. I’m bragging.
TWV: Your Twitter page has helped present the many nerdy sides of you, what’s your take on the social networking site that allows you to spew random thoughts at a 140 character clip?
VV: I love Twitter. I’ve been on it for a couple years now and have really seen it’s evolution, for the better and worse. Overall its been the perfect bullshit filter between celebrities and fans. Allowing celebs, models, athletes, etc., to wax poetically and philosophically un-filtered using horrible grammar, has been a PR nightmare for some, but shows the public what actual insecure, humorous, and fucked up creatures we all really can be at times. It’s taken a lot of the glitz and glamour out of the entertainment industry and made people more real and accessible. Some don’t want to be bothered with their fans at all, some depend on them too much. Whoever can’t adapt is losing.
TWV: Let’s get into your comic geek side. What is it about comic books that you love?
VV: I’ve always loved comic books & graphic novels. The way a book is always better, than its film adaptation, no superhero movie has yet capture the complexity of the characters & beauty of the artwork in their comic book. When I’m rich the first thing I want to do is fill my house with original comic book art.
TWV: Can you give me your top 3 favorite comics and why you dig them? You know, just so fools can stop thinking you are a faux nerd.
VV: Preacher Vol1: Gone To Texas, Watchmen, and From Hell are my current favs. I like comics & graphic novels that are little more on the dark side.
TWV: Have you ever put some thought into writing a sci fi novel or creating your own comic book?
VV: Yes. I have a full-chapter in a comic- themed book coming out this year. I’m also still working on my own character & strip that is beginning to evolve into it’s first book. It’s as not easy as I thought it would be when my illustrator & I started. It gives me even more respect for the industry.
TWV: You worked at Show Magazine as a managing editor. Just how exactly did that happen? It’s not every day that a magazine hires someone that is featured in their pages for an editorial position. You don’t see Soulja Boy editing for XXL….
VV: Before I joined the staff at SHOW I had been approached by another large international mag to join their online staff. Since my departure from SHOW I’ve been courted by a few more publications of varying genres. It only seems an oddity to people that don’t know me & aren’t familiar with the miscellaneous jobs I’ve held down behind the scenes over the years. My body & beauty are quickly outshined by my ability to set aside my ego and bring synergy to projects & treat other people’s dreams as preciously as my own. It’s been frustrating to not be as ferocious of strategist with my solo endeavors. It all comes down to funding. Working for a company, gives you access to money and resources to make things happen for someone else. It’s like you have to chose between being a very successful worker bee, or a queen bee with limited power.
TWV: Let me ask you this – how do you feel about the fact that when skinny white chicks are topless and pose for a shoot, it is considered artsy. But when a curvy chocolate woman does the same exact pose, it is damn near considered pornographic?
VV: Hey it is what it is. Let’s set race aside for a moment. Smaller naked breasts in this societies are perceived to be less offensive then their buxom counterparts. Paris Hilton’s nipples carry far less shock value then Coco T’s. This year there was a plus-sized lingerie commercial pulled from viewing that showed far less skin than any from Victoria’s Secret. Sometimes it seems unfair that healthy, curvy nude bodies are only seen as pornographic. To bring race into the fold, As curvy Black & Latinas, we are conditioned to believe it’s not our battle to fight because we should be focused on equality in other areas where women are not objectified. I think the naked form is beautiful. In all sizes. Breasts are historically a symbol of life & fertility. There’s nothing nasty about them.
VV: It used to be. Actually, a famous friend of mine had to snap me out the habit of reading blog comments. Most celebrities are usually too busy to be concerned with doing that. But those of us further down the fame ranking in entertainment have way more free time on our hands and are running/involved in our own promotions and marketing. We can get pulled down quick by the negative comments we encounter on the internet. I’ve come to look at it now as whether good or bad, a human being took time out their day to think and write about me. I have to appreciate that for what it is. I can’t expect to be every guy’s dream girl, or for every woman to give me props. Them taking time to acknowledge me good or bad is pretty awesome enough.
TWV: How long will you continue to model?
VV: That’s a tough question. I’ve already shifted the type of modeling I do multiple times. I haven’t done a music video in over a year or longer. I love being in front of the camera, but I don’t live for it. I have just as much fun directing another model’s shoot. I’d rather interview the celebrity, then break my neck trying be seen as one. If I write a book when I’m 50, will I pose as a model for my own cover? Damn skippy! So while I may shift focus away from being a model 1st, I’ll always have it in me.
TWV: Okay, so all the gentleman reading this site want to know how do you wife up a beautiful nerd who will have jaws dropping for her looks and her brain. I mean, only you would know the answer to that so help a brotha out
VV: I think it’s important for my man to understand my job does come with a persona. While mine may be closer to the real Vanessa Veasley, there are parts of me that my fans will never get to know, see, or feel. The man in my life has to be strong remain unmoved by my career and the bullshit that can come along with it. I like a man that can go with the flow, enjoy life, and be my partner; rather than see me as a wild creature that needs to be caught & domesticated.
TWV: You’ve done a lot, model, write, edit, radio show, etc. What have you NOT accomplished that you have an interest doing before all is said and done?
I’d still love to produce/host my own travel show. We had one in the works right before the writer’s strike and shattered economy. It’s still my dream. I’ve actually been a part of 3 shows now that haven’t made it to the airing stage. That’s life, and that’s the biz.
I’ve guest-blogged for everyone but me, so I plan to relaunch my site in blog format. Everyone is a damn blogger now. I’m a solid mid-format writer and have interests unique to the urban and modeling worlds, so I think it will be fun to mix it up and see what happens.
In modeling I’m about halfway thru my bucket list with a major shoot, campaign, and 2 collabs dropping in the 1st quarter 2011 that will help me cross even more items off.
I’d also like to be a mom eventually. I’ve put this life first, but I do hope to train a little army of evil mini-me’s one day. If I wait long enough, maybe cloning will be an option. Hmmmm…