Getting to Know Aye!

Aye & Bee has been around for two years and it's mind-blowing that we didn't do this sooner. This week, we're giving a closer look at one of the women behind Aye & Bee. Today, Aye shares 10 facts about herself below. Enjoy!

1. I’m a “Jane of all trades”

In the production world I refer to myself as a “preditor”. Translation: my primary duties are being a producer/editor. Along with that, I also write, shoot and host for video. Working in digital video sometimes requires you to play many roles and I’ve been doing so since college and my first industry job. Currently, I’m a preditor for a few series’ like Aye & Bee’s own “Off the Record” and a spoken word series called Disruptive Psyche.” I’m also working on launching a NEW series called “Yerbs.”

Dedicated to the craft. | 📸: @bee_mondesir

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2. I aspire to be a plus size model

I am a woman of color. Being a part of two marginalized groups (a woman and a minority) is already considered intersectionality. I’m also plus sized, with is a marginalized community all on its own. I’ve had personal battles and family battles about my weight for years, but as I’ve transformed into the woman I am today, I’ve grown a lot more confident in my body.

I look up to people like Tabria Majors and Ashley Graham because they are women who are my same weight, same size and KILLING the modeling game. Modeling is just one facet of what I'd like to pursue. I want to be an activist for the plus size community as well, to make a difference and change the stigma people have of us.

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3. I lived in Florida most of my life

I lived in Florida for 15-16 years and till this day I hate being called a Floridian. I was born in The Bronx, NY as pretty much all my family was (and most of them still live in NY), but I was raised in Florida and returned to my roots for college/early adulthood. I will say the weather in Florida was better (I’ve always hated the cold).

I’ve only been in LA for a year and a half, but so far it’s my favorite place I've lived, even though most of my family and friends don’t live here.

4. I work(ed) in black media

I worked in Black media for over two years in New York. It was actually my first job in the production industry and I got it six months after I graduated film school with an Associate's degree. It was honestly a dream job in many ways because I’ve always been an avid hip hop fan and I shot interviews with rappers and singers every day! I even got to travel to Texas, New Orleans, DC and Atlanta, places I wouldn't have been able to experience outside of the job. The best part was definitely shooting concerts. I also was embraced as a fresh mind in video and my boss became my mentor--taught me more than I ever learned in school. The content I produce now is also rooted in Black culture so I’ll always be creating Black media.

5. One of my biggest dreams is to travel

Having been to places like New Orleans, LA and Austin, TX has allowed me to try really amazing food. Food is actually the main reason I want to travel. Yeah, I want to see the Effiel Tower, but I also want to eat authentic French food. Sure, I would enjoy the beaches of Jamaica, but I want some Oxtail at a restaurant the locals go to. It’s also one of my many dream jobs to be a travelling food photographer/blogger or host of a travel food show.

6. I’m open about my natural hair journey

I even made a video about it! Still, hair journeys never end. I went natural in 2012 because my hair was falling out. I was already planning on transitioning slowly, but instead I had to have it chopped off. Hair I had for 19 years of my life, gone. It was dead, brittle and unhealthy and, of course, old habits die hard as I piled on the heat damage by straightening my hair ALL THE TIME. Also, having lived in three different places with three drastically different atmospheres means my hair has had to do a lot of adjusting. Some products that seem healthy for my hair in LA may not be as great in New York. To add to that, my hair is low-porosity--basically I’m still trying to figure it out and at the same time somehow become an ambassador for Shea Moisture (since that’s the main thing I use).

7. My style is unique

I call it “athleisure” which I’m aware is a weird hybrid fashion that the Rihannas and Kardashians of the world have made popular to the masses in the past. I still feel like mine is a little different. My style icon (or the closest I can get to one) is probably Aaliyah (think a Tommy Hilfiger tube top and the boxers showing above the baggy jeans). I dress to be comfortable, so leggings and sweatpants are my go-to choice of bottoms and some sort of crop top or t-shirt is my choice of top. This includes tops that look like sports bras or bralettes. Finish it off with some sneakers like a Nike Roshe or Adidas Ultra-boost and that’s my ideal style. I’ve also always been a 90’s fanatic, so I would say that’s also a vein of my style, but I haven’t dressed like that in a minute. For that, basically I’ll rock Nike hightops, maybe acid wash jeans, a snapback, and some sort of colorful shirt that has a 90’s Nicktoon on it. I HATE wearing heels. I probably hate the societal pressure to wear heels more than heels themselves.

Headed to the cookout like... "Cousin!!!" #saturdaze | 📸 : @nonconformity_

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8. I used to be athletic

It feels weird saying this because I am the least athletic person on the planet, but I did softball when I was like five or six. I did it for two years, and I really don’t remember much except practicing A LOT and being average. My dad desperately wanted me to be an athlete (he often mentioned Serena & Venus Williams). From there, I did dance for two years, learning ballet and tap. Again, I don’t remember too much besides that I practiced a lot, but I’m pretty sure I was really good at this. I remember having two solos, and that’s all that matters. And then, when I was 12, I did martial arts for two years. I made it all the way to a brown belt before I went to high school and I quit because I didn’t think it was “cool.” Here’s what I learned from these extra curriculars: I obviously cannot commit to most activities more than two years at a time and I would be great at one of those things if I stuck with it. Yeah, I didn’t love softball, but I could’ve been a dancer! Today I have no rhythm and my younger self is to blame for quitting.

Back when I was getting handed dance solos for ballet and tap 😂😂😂 #tbt with mommy!

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9. I have become a cannabis enthusiast

Yes, you read right, that says cannabis--also known as weed. I live in LA, so when in, but legitimately, the medical benefits (calm, focus) have really grown on me, to the point that I’ve been working on a series involving cannabis called Yerbs--a weed talk show launching 4/20. Stay tuned.

10. I’m an INFP

These letters are my personality profile from the Meyers-Briggs personality test. It’s pretty mainstream at this point, but a friend introduced me to it and once you take the test, the results can help you reason with the way you interact with the rest of the world. The ‘I’ stands for introvert, and I have always been an introvert. I mean, I don’t know what the introvert stereotype is now that social media has taken over our lives, but I hate crowds, I’m anti-social, I feel drained after a party, even though I rarely go to parties, and I feel awkward making eye contact with people. My idea of fun is a night in with my roommates and I prefer that 100% over going out. I just naturally feel pressure in public places to speak to people and it’s just not enjoyable for me personally.