Monday, January 30, 2012

Female Creator of Urban Hip-Hop Model Movement Takes On Negative Images of Women in Hip-Hop

Miami, FL - For years, women advancement groups have blamed rappers, hip-hop and MEN for the exploitation of women in hip-hop music videos. Recently, the founder and creator of Ethnicity Model, LaShawnna Stanley, accepted and admitted to her role in how urban models were negatively viewed. 

LaShawnna Stanley

For more than 10 years, Ms. Stanley creator of Ethnicity Models has been responsible for the popularity of models, better known as “video vixens” like Melyssa Ford, Nicole Ricca, Tae Heckard, Esther Baxter and dozens more. Her company quickly became the source for top hip-hop video directors, music artists, and executives. Embraced by the hip-hop industry for setting standards for the models, exposing a broad spectrum of beauty in the media and creating opportunities for beautiful ethnic girls, Quite the opposite was the opinion of the general public, Stanley’s company was often blamed and ridiculed when media outlets such as BET’s UNCUT became the #1 source of exposure for aspiring urban models.

“For years, I’ve been blamed for contributing to the negative imagery of women in Hip-Hop, but never felt the need to take the blame until now. It’s always been my goal to provide positive opportunities for urban models of all ethnicities that European agencies overlooked”.  Although I set high standards for Ethnicity Models and did not participate in the distasteful music videos, it was clear that the public did not know the difference and placed all models in the same negative category.

On recent episodes of Love & Hip-Hop, the argument about model vs. video vixen became a popular topic. Models Kimbella & Erica Mena both have two different perceptions of their modeling careers. However, if the decision were left up to Ms. Stanley, she would let them know that their careers are on an equal level because they both have allowed themselves to become a negative stereotype with several men in the music industry.                                 
Nearly two years ago, Ms. Stanley expanded her offices to Atlanta aka “the new black Hollywood” and  launched a new era of Ethnicity Models. Commercials, Film, Television and The Ethnicity Modeling/Acting Academy  in conjunction with Paragonn Hair & Makeup Artists owned by Tiffany Martin.  The program  travels to cities across the country providing an intensive weekend hands on training helping  girls build self-esteem and confidence,  heal from past childhood  issues & forcing them to take accountability for their  actions.  Ms. Stanley's curriculum implements positive teachings in self-awareness, self-love, & self-forgiveness so these women dying to get into the industry do not sell themselves short. Ms. Stanley has been working endlessly to wean her company away from solely being known for booking video models, and she has branched out to more commercial & film roles for the same urban models people once viewed negatively including roles in Tyler Perry's plays, BET's "The Game" and major commercial campaigns. 

“I’m obsessed with empowering women, teaching them how to look and feel beautiful from the inside out and how to reclaim their God given personal power.”, says LaShawnna. 
Ethnicity Models and Talent specializes in ethnic models of all nationalities for videos, films, commercials, urban clothing lines and marketing campaigns. The company is also promotes sisterhood and solidarity. Owner LaShawnna has become a women’s empowerment advocate and life coach for teen moms and motivated entrepreneurs. Get inspired at
Paragonn Artists is a full-service agency dedicated to providing quality hair and makeup services for all types of productions in South Florida.  Paragonn Artists consists of a highly talented team of Makeup Artists, Hair Stylists and Wardrobe Stylists that helps to create the client's ultimate look consistent with their motto; "Experience Excellence". For more information on the modeling academy visit

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