Norma Rae Jean: 20 Years Later

Text by Norma Rae Jean, Copyright 2023


20 Years Later


As a young girl, we all have dreams… Dreams of our life in the future. Who will I marry, where will I live, what will I be, who will I be??? 

 With models like Cindy Crawford, Christie Brinkley, Christy Turlington, that was what I wanted to be.  As my teenage years approached, I wasn’t tall enough, I wasn’t skinny enough, I didn’t have the right look. Though I would not be a super model, I would find other ways to quench that desire. 

Remember before the internet,  the books that women used to look at in the hair salon to pick their next hair style?  You could find me in there. Or maybe in the window of a department store as a live display, did that too… Shows at night clubs to display an artist’s design.. Though not a super model, I had fun with what I could do. 

  In my early twenties, I posed for Tony Ward for the first time. Believe it or not, I was the first model he used a digital camera to photograph in 2003.

Now here we are, 20 years later and he asked me to pose again. I was more than excited to work with him a second time around,  and honored to be the model for his January 2023 homepage. 

 The day of the photo shoot, December 14, 2022, I went and had my make-up done.  My nerves grew as I drove to Tony’s studio. Getting lost twice on the way did not help. When I arrived Tony greeted me with a big hug. I knew right then I was in good hands. 

KVaughn, a fashion designer who also was creative director on the shoot brought a trunk full of jewelry,  scarves, fabrics, and dresses. Using what he and I brought, K Vaughn put my looks together. He is full of energy and so fun and creative to work with. 

We all made our way over to Tony’s new studio, which is in his back yard in Elkins Park. For the next three hours we had such a great time. Working with Tony, K Vaughn, and photo assistant Anthony Colagreco was so much fun. Once again, I was Tony’s first.. First model he shot in his new studio. 

Editor’s Note: Norma Rae Jeans hair and makeup was styled by the Blow Dry Bar in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Styling by KVaughn.


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