Image by: Instagram (@juicycouture)
"Being yourself is one of the biggest things that I want to get across to other females."
Since American model India Makailah Graham won W magazine's modelling competition back in 2016, she has been on the come up. Now, the 20-year-old is one of four faces (including Devon Windsor, Gizele Oliveria and Luping Wang) starring in the campaign for Juicy Couture Oui, the latest scent from the brand.
We caught up with India to talk self-confidence, Instagram and more, below.
What does the campaign hashtag #PowerofOui mean to you?
It means that we, as females, are able to come together and empower each other. It's being able to say 'yes' to whatever we want.
The campaign motto includes ‘“living with confidence." Is that something that you’ve always been able to do?
It has definitely grown over time. At some point I learned to accept myself. Once I was able to do that, I was able to have the confidence I do now. Everyone should have a high level of self-confidence! It’s very important. And when you wear it, people can tell.
You have such a unique style and look, which is now obviously celebrated, especially in the modelling world, but what was that like growing up?
Once I realized that people all wanted to look like the same person, I just had to accept myself for being different. When I got older in high school I cared so much about my hair, I was constantly changing it because I wanted to stand out.
What was it like having Instagram in high school?
I think it impacted my modelling career because I was able to reach out to people in New York when I was still in Michigan. It also allowed me to see different types of females from all over the world and see all different types of beauty and all different types of confidence. I think it results in so much exposure at a young age that you may not have seen before Instagram was around.
India Makailah Graham, Devon Windsor, and Luping Wang for Juicy Couture OUI.
Was there any negative aspect to it?
I feel like the only negative aspect is that people were concerned about ‘likes’ and who had a bigger following. But I think you outgrow that. I’ve definitely outgrown it.
Who are some of the women you look up to?
I really love Beyonce. Yara Shahidi is a very good role model. I’ve been following her on social media for a while and I love to see what she does on Grownish. And then also Zendaya, she is also a very powerful woman who is young. It is amazing to see women of colour in those positions, being the same age as me and being able to set an example.
What’s one message you really want to get across?
Being yourself is one of the biggest things that I want to get across to other females. Speaking back to Instagram having an effect on me when I was younger, I think a lot of people are impacted by what they see on social media nowadays and a lot of people are younger females who look up to women and they try so hard to change things about themselves to become these other women. It's not necessary! It’s just going to create a bunch of robots, people who all look the same. If you don’t take the time to appreciate your individuality, you suffer. The best thing is to be you and allow your personality to shine; what you have that no one else has.
Juicy Couture OUI Eau de Parfum Spray ($119 for 100 mL)