Joan Smalls Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican model and television personality. In 2011, she became the first Latina model to represent Estée Lauder cosmetics. Joan Smalls Rodríguez was born and raised in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, with her two sisters. Her father, Eric Smalls, is an accountant, and is West Indian, of African and Irish heritage, from Saint Thomas.
Early Life and Roots
Joan Smalls Rodriguez was born on July 11, 1988, in the municipality of Hatillo, Puerto Rico. Raised in a close-knit family, she was instilled with values of determination, resilience, and hard work from an early age. Growing up in Puerto Rico, Smalls was exposed to a vibrant culture that celebrated diversity and instilled a strong sense of community and heritage. Her childhood experiences and upbringing laid the foundation for her future endeavors and shaped her into the empowered and grounded individual she is today.
Path to Modeling
Smalls initially harbored dreams of becoming a lawyer but eventually found herself drawn to the world of modeling. Her striking features, including her statuesque frame and captivating gaze, set her apart from the conventional standards of beauty prevalent in the industry. In 2007, she signed with Elite Model Management, marking the beginning of her journey toward international recognition and acclaim. Despite initial skepticism and challenges, Smalls remained resolute in her pursuit of a successful modeling career, propelled by her unwavering determination and passion for the craft.
Rise to Prominence
Smalls’s ascent to prominence in the fashion world was rapid and remarkable. Her breakthrough moment came when she walked the runway for renowned fashion houses such as Givenchy, Chanel, and Versace. Her ability to effortlessly transition between high fashion editorials and commercial campaigns solidified her status as a versatile and in-demand model. Her presence on the catwalks of Paris, Milan, and New York Fashion Week garnered widespread acclaim and cemented her position as one of the most sought-after models of her generation.
Advocate for Diversity and Inclusivity
In an industry notorious for its lack of diversity and inclusivity, Smalls emerged as a vocal advocate for the representation of people of color. Recognizing the importance of visibility and empowerment, she used her platform to champion the inclusion of models from underrepresented backgrounds, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable fashion landscape. Through her advocacy and activism, she inspired a new generation of models to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate their cultural heritage, fostering a sense of empowerment and belonging within the industry.
Beyond her contributions to the fashion world, Smalls dedicated herself to various philanthropic endeavors. Her involvement with organizations such as Project Sunshine and (RED) exemplifies her commitment to making a positive impact on society and advocating for meaningful change. Through her philanthropy work, she emphasized the importance of giving back to the community and using one’s influence to create a better and more equitable world. Her efforts underscored the significance of using one’s success to uplift others and contribute to the betterment of society at large.
Maintaining Authenticity and Humility
Throughout her journey, Smalls remained authentic and grounded, never allowing fame to overshadow her values and principles. She openly shared her experiences of facing challenges as a young model, emphasizing the significance of resilience and self-belief in the face of adversity. Her humility and sincerity endeared her to fans and colleagues alike, earning her respect and admiration within the fashion industry and beyond. By staying true to herself and her roots, she set an example for aspiring individuals, showcasing the importance of staying grounded and authentic despite the glamour and pressures of the fashion world.
Expansion into Entrepreneurship and Activism
In recent years, Smalls expanded her influence beyond modeling, venturing into entrepreneurship and activism. She launched her own initiatives aimed at promoting diversity in the beauty industry, collaborating with major brands to develop inclusive makeup lines that cater to individuals of all skin tones and types. Her dedication to creating products that are accessible and empowering set a new standard for inclusivity within the beauty sector. Moreover, she used her platform to advocate for social and environmental causes, raising awareness about issues such as racial inequality, gender discrimination, and climate change.
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Joan Smalls Net Worth and salary: Joan Smalls is a Puerto Rican-born, American fashion model who has a net worth of $20 million. She was signed by Elite Model Management in 2007, and did commercial modeling jobs such as Nordstrom, Liz Claiborne, and Sass & bide. In 2009, she left Elite and switched to IMG Models worldwide, where she changed her focus to runway work.