Juzar Dean in 'Born ready' by Elle Durrant

All my life, I’ve been underestimated. All my life people been telling me what I’m not ready for.

They would say we like you but you’re not the right black, your hair is too long, your skin is too dark, you're not commercial enough, you're not high fashion. You're not ready. I would change myself, look at the other models and try to fit the mold that they wanted me to be. If I curled my hair like the lighter models I could be commercial enough, I could fit in, I could be ready. If I wore all black and hid my true self, maybe they all could see me.

I thought if I flew elsewhere I could blend in that way. But no success, I was still not ready. Flying home with defeat still dripping from my face. A thought dropped instead of my brain and refused to leave. I hit the ground running.

Who decides when we’re ready to be the greatest self?

All my life, I’ve been underestimated. All my life people been telling me what I’m not ready for. All my life, I was born Ready.


Written by Juzar Dean


In a Risk Magazine exclusive, Juzar Dean stars in 'Born Ready', photographed by Elle Durrant


Model Juzar Dean

Photographer Elle Durrant Creative Direction Juzar Dean

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