7 Inspirational Quotes From Adwoa Aboah

Last night, Adwoah Aboah scooped the model of the year award at the British fashion awards beating off stiff competition from nominees including Kaia Gerber, Winnie Harlow and sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid. Presented with her award by American singer and activist Erykah Badu, it tops off an outstanding twelve months for the 25-year old, think countless runway shows including Chanel, Miu Miu and Erdem, a Pirelli calendar shoot, advertising  campaigns for Marc Jacobs beauty and Calvin Klein plus covering Edward Enninful’s first issue as editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Alongside this, the young Londoner also campaigns for mental health issues and the  promotion of diversity in the fashion industry. She has her own online website called Gurls Talk, a platform that aims to encourage young women to speak about about issues they face –  whether that be mental health, body image, addiction, sexuality or “just whatever we want”.

Adwoah has spoken openly about her own past personal struggles with mental health and addiction. Having a developed a ketamine addiction in her teenage years, she attempted suicide in 2015 with an overdose at a rehab centre in London. Since then, treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and addiction have helped her find equilibrium. Now she’s on a mission to help young women fulfil their potential and stop them spiralling down a similar pathway.

Here we round up Adwoah’s most inspirational quotes…

Adwoa Aboah, Celebrities at London Fashion Week

On her struggles growing up…

‘To everyone else in the outside world I was doing really well, but inside I was just slowly crumbling. I stopped hanging out with really good friends because they would be the ones to ask me how I was. I’d broken up with the boyfriend I’d had since I was 18. No one knew how bad it was. My go-to protective thing is isolation. It’s turn off the phone, don’t speak to anyone, lie in bed all day and then maybe go out at night and do the same thing over again. That’s how I got through the day, that’s how I got through the week.’

On her own mental health issues…

On shaving her head…

‘It was a kind of a fuck-you to the industry, even if I wasn’t conscious of that at the time. I didn’t warn anyone, I just walked into my agency one day with all my hair shaved off. But they loved it. I love it, too – I’m definitely in no rush to grow it back’

On diversity in the fashion industry…

‘People can get so lazy with their casting.  Sometimes it is worse than laziness. Sometimes I think people just don’t care.’

On using her voice…

‘After interning and making cups of tea I felt like it was our turn to make a mark and break out. We know better than anyone what the young want.’

On starting her online platform Gurls Talk…

‘I didn’t have loads of followers when I started Gurls Talk. I had no idea I would ever be doing as much modelling as I am now. Would I still have been so honest if I’d known that I would be in this position? I hope so. I think that honesty is why Gurls Talk works. I see on the site how one girl being really brave and honest leads to someone else opening up. Girls need that connection and it has to be authentic.’

On the pressure social media can cause…

‘I completely understand because I was in that place of projecting this very fake image of who I was.  Sometimes I feel like I’m adding to that worm hole of imagery that’s so detrimental to how women look at themselves. The people at the top of the social media game don’t always take on that responsibility. They show a life that’s out of many people’s reach.’

On why the fashion industry still needs to change…

‘I am only one type of girl as well. It shouldn’t just be, ‘OK we put Adwoa in so we’ve hit that quota.’ It’s not good enough.’

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