In the modeling profession, only a few people are aware that apart from runway, which appears to be the most popular; there are other money-spinning aspects of the career such as commercial, fitness, and others including nude modeling.
In this interview with Seunmanuel Faleye, nude and hip-hop model, actor and vixen Careema Umar bares it all to Apple’s Bite International Magazine about how she navigates the murky terrain of the unlikely profession.
The law graduate also talks about how she deals with criticism and how being a nude model has come to help her appreciate her body better and build self-confidence.
How is nude modeling different from the other types of modeling; apart from getting naked before the camera?
Modeling generally gives you the chance to get creative and apply yourself to different artistic options. But more specifically, I do nude modeling in the form of advertising, and I create website outlook for adult sites.
How is nude modeling different from other types of modeling, apart from getting naked before the camera?
Modeling generally gives you the chance to get creative and apply yourself in different artistic options. But more specifically, I do nude modeling in the form of advertising and I create website outlook for adult sites.
How often do you get jobs and what brands have you worked with?
Bet9ja, Haze, lots of fashion brands, swimwear brands, just to mention a few. Sometimes, I’m engaged with brand projects almost every day of the month, other times, jobs don’t come that frequently. Like right now, I’m jostling between a photoshoot and a movie set. That’s how clumsy my schedule can be sometimes. I’ve not had good sleep in days now, but what can we do? At least, I’m paying my bills, and I thank God I’m busy.
Does this pay better than normal runway modeling?
I think it’s first about the passion for your job, before the money. The pay, of course, differs, it depends on the brand. It is, however, largely meager and not worth the art in Nigeria, although there’s a bigger and better picture in the future, where nude modeling will be in the mainstream, and even hip-hop modeling will be respected.
Do you have an idea what your counterparts in other climes earn?
A lot of my model friends outside the country earn enough to own at least a property.
Have you had to exchange sex for jobs before?
I have not really experienced that, because, honestly, you just must know what you’re doing. No matter how good you’re in bed, if you’re not good at what you do, you won’t go anywhere.
How long have you been doing this? And what’s your inspiration?
I have always wanted to be a glamour girl since I was little. I grew up on Naomi Campbell, and I admired her a lot. I wanted to just be a model, but I started having a thing for this genre of modeling when I was in school. I struggled with self-esteem and low confidence. I was bullied because I was dark, I was bullied for my hands and feet, (most people claim they’re not pretty,) for my hip dip (you’ve got double yansh, your ass is weird,) and all those craps. So, I struggled with low self-esteem, I started nude shoots in school as a form of self-healing/therapy just to own the flaws and all, but as time went on, I began getting gigs and stuffs like that. And what’s more beautiful in life than doing what you love and getting paid for it. I still do other forms of modeling, but this is where the beast in me flourishes.
You said you started in school; how did it not affect your study of a conservative course like law?
As much as my course required much of my time, I still find time for modeling, because it’s what I love to do, it’s my passion. When you love something/someone you create time even out of no time. It was very hard balancing it, so I had to slow down on the modeling till I graduated in 2017, when I now went into it fully.
What more apart from confidence does anyone need to be a nude model?
Apart from confidence, you need to be passionate about the job. And you need to know why you’re doing this in the first place. It is not just about taking sexy and tasty photos for Instagram. You must know the
Does being a nude model not affect your relationships?
To start with, I don’t have a boyfriend. No man with an African mentality can handle this, and most Lagos boys are in that realm of mentality, you get what I mean. So, I’ve taken my mind off any relationship for now. Besides, most of them think I’m trying to seek attention, (that is hawking my body,) so they just come for sex, and honestly, that’s the least of my worries for now, because being five to six years of being single, with no boyfriend or lover.
Don’t you miss being with someone?
Let’s just say I’m used to myself. And if sex is what you mean, I get that if I want. If I need someone to talk to, I simply vent to myself.
Does your family accept or approve your line of job?
Well, that’s still kind of tough, but they understand. At least, I’m not sleeping around, and I’m financially independent and they understand it’s what I want. It’s still kind of hard for some of them, but we’re making progress. I believe they’ll come to terms with it fully one day.
Years back, nude modeling would have been considered impossible in Nigeria. What is responsible for the daring increase in professional nude models?
Times have changed; the way people lived 10 years ago is different from the way people live now. People are becoming bolder and more confident these days. Secondly, seeing other people do it, serves as motivation for others to start. People are gradually unlearning the myth they learnt about some harmless professions.
How do photographers handle female nudity during photo shoots?
It’s their job. They just must be professional about it. For me, I don’t care how they do it. I don’t care about their erections. I learnt very early that if you want to last in an industry, you shouldn’t be too quick to open your legs, no matter who they are and what they are offering. I’m a very jovial person, but once it comes to work, I don’t joke. I try to be strictly and very professional because if there’s any slip, it’s a fall.
What growth would you like to see in the industry in the next five years?
I want nude modeling to be mainstream in the next five years; people should see nude modeling more like an art, an art of sexuality. That way, the profession will be respected, and people will get due credit for their art.