Last year, 47-year-old nutrition wellness coach Antoinette Beeks was building her brand with a new cookbook, but a lot has changed since then for the South Carolina native. In April, Beeks was officially crowned the winner of season three’s The Androgynous Model (TAM). Created by queer Producer Nikki Eason, the show’s mission is to create a platform for people who struggle to be accepted for who they truly are, as well as educate brands, and companies about androgyny and why diversity and inclusion is essential.
Beeks—who describes herself as a two-spirit demisexual—was in awe of the past two seasons of the show. “I felt like I could relate to the models in the previous seasons of The Androgynous Model. I empathize in the challenges masculine women of color face on a daily basis,” she says.
We spoke with Beeks to talk about androgyny, her modeling journey, and her time on the show.
How would you describe yourself?
I am connected and grounded in God. I love my family and friends. I’m a foodie whose passion lies in coaching others to cook. This fueled me to write my first book, “After the Nest: The Culinary Edition.” And I absolutely adore fashion and vintage shopping.
What does androgyny mean to you?
Androgyny means that I have the flexibility and fierceness to wear anything. I love that I can don a tailored suit and still have a feminine touch. For me, making an outfit your own while standing out is the epitome of androgyny.
What type of feedback have you received since being on the show?
Everyone has been super supportive. I received tons of “I knew you could do it!” to “Your smile is captivating.” I’ve received messages that my photos give high fashion vibes. But the feedback that pulled at my heart strings the most was when I heard that someone was inspired by my relationship with God.
What’s something that surprised you about yourself during the TAM experience?
I knew the images the photographers and videographers produced would look amazing because they’re pros at what they do. But I was inspired by the internal beauty, strength, and vulnerability they captured during the shoots.
What was the hardest part about being on the show?
Two things. Owning my power and being on camera. I’m a shy introvert, so I was mortified while shooting the first episode.
What are your other hobbies or interests outside of modeling?
Cooking, traveling, teaching others how to prepare and enjoy whole foods, making beats, and playing the drums.
Where do you see the modeling industry in five years?
I see the modeling industry exploding within the next five years for androgynous women of color. Black women are making strides. We are on the cusp of taking the world by storm. I am honored to be one of the pioneers in breaking societal norms in the fashion and entertainment industries.
What advice would you give to the next contestants of TAM Season 4?
Know that tomorrow is not promised yet inevitable. Ask yourself, “How do I want to remember yesterday?” On the other side of fear awaits great reward.
Do you have any future projects in the works?
The possibilities are endless. A modeling contract for a major brand is in works. I’m also looking to merge modeling with my passion for wellness. Another book is on the horizon. Being on The Androgynous Model helped me become more confident.