|A Valuable Lesson Learned with Victoria James | Boca Raton, Florida|
|Angels - Interviews|
|Written by Khalid "Bless Theangels" Bey | Editor in Chief | As Seen in NY Times Bestseller: Rat Bastards|
The texts were funny; this angel had wings that made her fly. Not in the literal sense but in reference to her personality and candor; she could fly off with the comments. Full of double meanings and innuendos, her phrases and technological utterances were bold and fearless. I enjoyed this immensely. We are all people here; words mean nothing but their definitions until we allow ourselves to feel something. And she made me feel… something. Ha. Incredibly sexy, it was hard… to believe it was she whom sent these interesting combinations of words and rhetoric. This is her interview.
“My name is Victoria Valentine James,” she says to both you and me, though some of you already know this I’m sure. She is our newest angel, living in South Florida where she was born and raised. “Although I have lived all over South Florida, I currently reside in Boca Raton.” She is there finishing up her master’s degree in English Literature at Florida Atlantic University, another year ahead of her. “The best thing about living in Boca Raton is that I am close to Miami but far enough away that I can retreat from the rapid pace of the city when I just need time to decompress.”
She may be from Florida but she isn’t really from… Florida. Philanthropy dictates that genetically and geographically some of us come from places that are far removed from the places we live. Those that came before us sponsor our culture, the past predicts the future. However here we find ourselves at a crossroads of sorts, Victoria does not know her nationality. “When I started modeling in February of this year, I thought to myself, “I should come up with some amazing, fictitious back-story,” says a reflective angel. “I could be from some place neat like Morocco or Denmark. However I can’t bring myself to do that. I am a writer, so coming up with a story would be both fun and easy for me but here is the truth: I have no idea.” A practically nonexistent father whom she never thought to seek out is the reason her nationality eludes her. “I guess not knowing means that I can be a world citizen: a person of everyplace with allegiances everywhere. I can define my identity based on other factors like natural talents, personal passions, etc… so I am Victoria James: a woman of the 21st century world.”
“I am an incredibly intelligent, independent and self-motivated person,” Victoria declares rather proudly. “I have been this way all my life. I always had a 4.0 in the highest classes available. I was also athletic, on the cross country and lacrosse teams.” From grade six to the twelfth she learned Spanish. Most of her classmates were from Spanish speaking nations. “I can still communicate in Spanish, but am not nearly as articulate,” she admits. “I have written poetry since I was elementary age and have been published under different aliases in multiple literary journals. I guess my brain was always what I exercised and now with modeling I get the chance to create great images with my appearance. It’s a different arena for me but I absolutely love it.” She recognizes what goes into creating such great images. “Creating a great image takes a great deal of creativity and forethought on both parts; that of the model and that of the photographer. Fantastic images, the ones that leave you wanting to be inside it, require more than a pretty face.” Still, she understands that she has much to learn and “always will be learning how to perfect my presence on camera.”
With modeling, changes are expected, embraced. “I once read a book by Neal Donald Walsh titled ‘When Everything Changes, Change Everything’. This book,” she says, “along with a couple others which I won’t mention now, helped me to take the ill condition of my life, to put it lightly, and to pursue personal happiness.” In the year 2005, Victoria found herself pregnant with her first child, an unexpected occurrence that prevented her from going to Georgetown as originally planned. “I married her father and stayed in South Florida in order to raise her properly,” Victoria explains. “I wanted my firstborn, Nola, to have a sister so in 2008 I had her younger sister, Shiloh. I was officially ‘a child with a child’, in fact ‘two’ children.” A stay-at-home mother and wife for the next six years brought despondency with it; she was also a full-time student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University. “I was personally unhappy with my situation,” she recalls. “It took me a lot of heartache, self-pity and just general b.s. to learn the most important lesson I have learned in my entire life, one that I think people in their forties and fifties, whose life experience double mine time-wise might even struggle to understand: that I am the only person responsible for my happiness, my success, my failures and what I take away from each of those things.”
In becoming a model, with her situation being what it was she became a changed woman. “I realized that the key to being what I wanted to be meant putting my happiness before that of anyone else’s. This is not to say that you disregard our kids or spouse but you lovingly put yourself at the top of the list. It changed my life.” She was happier than ever, her quality of life exceeded all expectations. After a year-long hiatus from school she returned to her studies, remained great friends with her children’s father after separating amicably, and then fell in love. “Modeling was really something that I just said to myself; ‘Self: You only live once. You are only young for an ever-fleeting amount of time and you won’t always have nice elastic skin or tight gluts or boobs that defy gravity. So go for it. You never know’.” A special Valentine’s Day boudoir photo shoot by Miami’s Alex Manfredini for the love she’d recently acquired led to discovering Model Mayhem and the rest is history. “So I made a Model Mayhem profile and shortly after a Facebook page, an Instagram and was being offered to be paid to what to me, seemed like playing dress up and acting out a certain role for each shoot.”
Clearly a beauty in many ways, a deeper understanding of the impact of beauty materialized through practice and import. “Beauty is something aesthetically pleasing,” she offers, “and measuring beauty, to me, is measured by the way that beautiful person or piece of art or poem makes you feel.” Nevertheless she has come to expect special treatment because of the beauty she is. “It would be naïve to pretend that people don’t treat you differently when you present yourself in a way that reflects an evident self-respect,” she says. “If people didn’t treat good-looking, attractive people differently there wouldn’t be a million and one markets making money off outward beauty. That being said, flawless looks will never be able to mask an unbecoming disposition. A large part of the reason the world adored, and still adores, figures such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, or Princess Diana is because the beauty of their personality radiated from within them, exponentially enhancing their beauty and appeal. Oh, and brains, too. If you are beautiful and ignorant, just keep your mouth shut. And learn to spell, for your own good!”
Like the rest of us in Angels Playpen, Victoria believes beauty can potentially get those that witness and truly appreciate it to “help one another, change a destructive behavior or just move outside of ourselves and the microcosm of our everyday lives.” Having beauty play such an important role in her life, she has a love for modeling that is much more than superficial. “Besides creating beautiful images and getting to perform for the camera,” she says of what she loves most about modeling, “I get a rush when shooting. I feel powerful and with the right photographer; transcendent. It’s an out of body experience as long as you are working with a professional.”
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