Currently in her senior year of high school, Kiersten Anderson shares a passion for life, family, and friends. Originally from New York, Kiersten currently resides in Miami where she is pursing her dream of being a teen model.
Who is your biggest role model?
My biggest role model is my beautiful mother, who I adore with all my heart. She is my mother and father, as my parents are divorced and I rarely see my father.
You shared that you had been bullied in the past, can you tell us more about the experience?
I consider myself pretty popular in school and have a lot of friends. When I was around 7 or 8 years old, I wasn’t popular and I can honestly say food was my friend. I enjoyed eating snacks and donuts late at night food, and, due to my night snacks, I was a little on the chunky/chubby side and was picked on by many children in school. Often I would tell my mother that I wasn’t feeling good or that I had a fever just to stay home and not have to deal with the bullying in school. Kids would not want to eat or sit with me or even want to be my friend. I was always very quiet and reserved, and was kind of a loner. My best friend was my mother, who, at the time, was a single mom because we had moved from New York to Miami and my father decided not to follow us. My mother would always reassure me that eventually things would change and that I would make friends. Things got so bad that my mother had to change my school because the teachers and principal would not do anything about the bullying happening to me in school.
As I started getting older, my mother stopped allowing me to eat the late night snacks and donuts. Her and I started doing lots of activities and she put me in dance class. All the exercise made me lose a lot of weight, so, when I was like 10 or 11 years old, I saw myself becoming thin and getting tall. I had no problems making friends and the kids weren’t being mean to me anymore. I have to be honest, when I was being bullied I hated the world and everything in it. But, because of my wonderful mother, I was able to overcome all the bullying and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fast-forward to now, I am 5’7, beautiful, tall, model who had overcome a lot of turmoil as a child. I am blessed to have a wonderful family, mother who loved me and taught me that we can overcome any obstacles as long as we don’t give up or give in to the behavior of others.
What advice do you have for those who are being bullied?
The bullies were the ones with the problem, not me. I believe that by sharing my story I can help a child overcome bullying, because if I can make it, anyone can. Bullying is a huge problem in this day and age, with a lot of children killing themselves because they feel they don’t have any solution. Well, my solution is speak to your parents; don’t think you’re alone, seek help, and don’t allow the bully to win the war.
What does being a teen Latina model entail?
Being a Latina teen model can be very challenging at times, because racism still exists in the world. Sometimes the casting designers will by pass the Hispanic and Black beautiful models and instead pick the white/faired skin, blue eyes blonde haired girls. I am very confident, so when I am not picked by a designer I don’t let that bother me. I am friendly with all models, but I do see the favoritism.
How did you begin modeling?
I started modeling at the age of 13 and have modeled ever since. On the streets people would tell me, “You are so pretty, why don’t you model?” My mom took me to an agency, they took photos, and soon after that I was modeling.
Do you have other interests, what are they?
I love to read books, love to go shopping and love to be in front of the camera. I like to play volleyball and go bike ridding. I also volunteer at the Animal shelter by taking care of animals that people don’t want. We help find loving homes for those pets in need.
How are girls following you?
I have a following of young girls and teens through social media. Also, I work as a volunteer in the Children’s cancer ward and every time I have a fashion event or show they always want to see my photos or videos, so the nurses will put on my videos for them to watch.
What advice do you have for young Latinas pursuing their dreams?
My advice to young Latina’s trying to pursue their dreams is shoot for the stars and to not believe anyone that says you can’t do it. You can do anything you put your mind and heart to do. With hard work eventually come rewards. LATINAS, let’s stand up and be heard! As we do have a powerful voice!