Name: Aba Forewa
Agency: Seeking Representation
“I completely changed as a person. I had a big momentum before I got pregnant and now it just came to a dead stop.”
In an exclusive interview with HelloBeautiful Aba Forewa was unafraid to say the thing millennial moms are never supposed to say. The first generation Ghanaian-American model and Everything Rrogue brand ambassador admitted that she was finding it difficult to snap back in more ways than one.
Like many contemporary models Forewa began her career working with her fellow creatives on social media. Together with photographers, creative directors, and designers from her home state of New Jersey she developed body positive content that expressed her personal style and confidence.
“It was really random,” she said about her journey to landing in front of the camera.
“I met a group of girls who had ended up starting this platform called Embracing The Crown to celebrate you know black women so they were doing their launch and they asked me to be a part of it,” she recalled.
She came to Jersey City for the photoshoot and afterwards she was interested in recreating the experience. The universe sent the perfect person to make it happen one day as she was at an open mic night. “This girl ran up to me and she was like ‘You don’t know me my name is Kaila Bouleware. This is my business card, you’re so beautiful, we should shoot. Are you a model”?
Boulware and Forewa worked on a “impromptu shoot” to promote body positivity shortly after. “I’ve always been confident in my body,” she stated.
Taking that stance was a risk in suburban New Jersey. Forewa maintained her confidence despite not fitting in with the Abercrombie and Hollister clad blondes at Montgomery High School. She wore what she wanted and shaved her head determined not to yield to the standards of anyone but the person in the mirror.
While she wanted to shoot to lend her perspective to the body positivity movement, she hadn’t intended on attempting to make a career from her image. In fact, she wanted to study the business side of the fashion industry at FIT. But because she was only seventeen, she would need the support of her parents to study international marketing outside the state, something she did not have. Her parents literally tossed her applications for out-of-state colleges in the trash.
“I come from a Ghanaian family. I’m first generational so it was like a big uproar. Everybody was like ‘Do medical field!’ They didn’t support what I wanted to do. They did not allow me to apply for anything out of state.”
The theme of the shoot shifted unexpectedly during production as Forewa got word that she was let go from the day job that sustained her while she worked on her creative endeavors. Several short video clips taken from that day’s set depict her displaying an extreme vulnerability as Solange’s “Cranes In The Sky” plays in the background. The clips and other content she created with Bouleware and other photographers directed attention towards her.
View this post on Instagram
For as nervous as I was, the response to these photos are overwhelmingly rewarding! I never realized how much of a vessel my confidence is! I was extremely conflicted when I was contemplating posting these shots but with the encouragement of my circle and a leap of faith I came through! I know that I have to use my voice, my image and my power to be a stand for women like me! Women who are misunderstood, women who are misjudged and women who are simply too complex for the closed minded. I am so happy! Thank you! I've never felt so alive! Im #fullyexpressed y'all and I could cry! 📸: @kailaboulware 💄: @ivanabbeauty #fullyexpressed #fullfigured #melanin #bodypositive #thickthighssavelives #curvy #plussize #model #selflove #selfmotivation #friday #queen #queenishonly #lingirie #comfortzone #beauty #love #hate #meal #steak #comfortzone #blackgirlsrock #blackgirlmagic #blackgirlsslay #ghana #okayafrica #blackvoices
Even without an agency or management Forewa was able to secure major opportunities that offered her visibility and experience. She appeared on daytime television segments and in runway presentations. She attended events and connected with makeup artists and creatives who were also making their way in the industry.
She walked in New York Fashion Week, the inaugural Newark Fashion Forward event, and worked with designers like Melody Asherman, and boutiques like Off The Hanger building a substantial portfolio in the process.
View this post on Instagram
Today was magical 💡 I’ve decided to take a hiatus to mentally prepare for 2019! I’ll be dropping all of my recent work then! So you’ll have a lot to look FOREWArd to from me! I won’t be deactivating my account.. but I will be deleting the app! Make Up: @carolsbeautybar Dress: @rrfashionista @everrythingrrouge Jewelry: @empresscollections 📸: @empresscollections #blackgirlmagic #blackmomskillingit #fullyexpressed #speakingmytruth
When she became a mother her approach to pursing her goals changed. After making the difficult decision to terminate a previous pregnancy Forewa was certain that she was ready to become a parent.
View this post on Instagram
|Part 3| March 9th finally rolls around, my due date. I was in early labor and my doctor told me that I could dilate fast and have the baby that day or it could take a few days… I wasn’t really with it because my mom was getting ready to leave for Detroit the next day and I realllllly wanted her to be here for Jerrells birth! I was trying everything that I read up on to jumpstart my labor with no success! Finally Chris and I were walking around the mall and proceeding with caution he was like… “babe I think you should consider getting induced… I don’t think this baby is gonna be here before your mom leaves…” I gave him the craziest look but didn’t say a word…. after thinking about it for a few minutes I started blowing my OBGYN up until they finally told me to come in at 6 pm to be induced! I was so impatient because it was like 2 o’clock and they were taking forever to get back to me! It was finally about to happen… Lorrrrdtttttt!!! 😩 #SpeakingMyTruth #fullyexpressed #blackgirlmagic
“We both just knew,” she said of her and her partner’s choice to bring life into the world. Her stance was, “I love this man he loves me we’re gonna have this baby.”
The young family was filled with love, but it was not without challenges.
“Now that I’m 25 and I have a child I’m an advocate for living your best life until you’re ready,” said Forewa. Becoming a parent has not completely subdued her sense of self. “I’m still fighting for myself,” she asserted.
View this post on Instagram
This is my dream, to be a mother first without sacrificing what I want for myself! I believe that we can have it all, that women can wear all hats! I’ve been trying to find my balance and pick up my momentum but honestly there is no balance, you kinda just gotta do it! Seize the day! I still get overwhelmed and it never gets easier…but I’m determined! My single mother raised 4 women meanwhile studying for her LPN followed by RN, BSN, Nurse Practitioner and is now she’s writing her dissertation for her PhD! Not only did she manage to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table but she took us all to Ghana twice ( a round trip ticket for 1 person is like $1,000+). I’m always asking my mom, how she did it? She always says, you gotta cut out the noise and focus! I know I can do it, cause I slowly but surely am! ✊🏿🤱🏾 #SpeakingMyTruth #FullyExpressed #BreastIsBest #blackmomskillingit
“I got pregnant at the peak of figuring out who I was, and then I got pregnant and all of it came to a complete halt.” That halt is lifting slowly but surely. “I’ve been to a few different castings,” she revealed. “I’m going full force again.”
Currently she is adjusting to how motherhood has impacted her decision-making process. “I’m not as spontaneous as I was, I’m a lot more calculated,” she explained.
She intends on returning to school with a renewed viewpoint. “I decided to be creative and figure out what I wanted to do and leverage that,” she added.
“I’m always trying to make the best choices for me and my son.”