01 Dec Prosper’s Own Selina Bell: Beautiful Inside & Out BY DAWN BLUEMEL OLDFIELD
“I don’t want to be a supermodel. I want to be a role model.” — Dana Owens
There is no denying that Selina Bell is a beautiful young woman. She is a natural beauty with the tall lithe body of a ballerina, expressive chocolate brown eyes, long chestnut brown hair, and a smile that lights up a room. But don’t let her looks deceive you. There is more to Selina than meets the eye.
An up-and-coming model represented by Wilhelmina International Inc. and Kim Dawson Dallas, two of the most prominent modeling agencies in the world, Selina has modeled for brand names that include Guess, Nike, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, JCPenny, May Kay, and Abercrombie & Fitch. She’s graced the pages of American Salon, Modern Bride, and Travel + Leisure magazines, and appeared in a television commercial for Sketchers. That’s quite an impressive resume for a young lady who has only been modeling a few years.
The 2013 PHS graduate was more interested in her studies and sports than high fashion during her years at Prosper ISD. The oldest of three girls, Selina’s mom is a teacher and her dad a successful restaurateur.
Selina shares, “My parents really stressed the importance of education and hard work. When I was growing up, my friend’s parents would tell my mom and dad they should let me model, but they were really strict and school came first. It wasn’t until my senior year that they began to relent. But even then my parents didn’t give me a free ride. They insisted I approach this on my own so I would really appreciate the work ethic and cost involved.”
Selina laughs, “I wish there was an exciting ‘how I was discovered story’ about my modeling career, but there isn’t.”
Selina’s aunt submitted her to America’s Top Model, and while Selina didn’t make the cut for the TV show, the fact that Tyra Banks had wonderful things to say about her gave her the confidence she needed to pursue modeling.
Selina credits her upbringing and faith for her modeling success.
“The modeling business is very competitive. Getting noticed requires a lot of resources, both financially and personal, and requires a tough skin,” she said. “My parents taught me and my sisters to be diligent, and that prepared me for this industry. You don’t give up and you stay true to yourself. My favorite bible verse is Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see – Hebrews 11:1.”
While she enjoys modeling, Selina said it won’t be the end of the world if one day it all stops.“I can work and I can do anything,” she said. “Modeling definitely has a shelf life, but I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can. I do hope to one day finish my college degree in business and finance. Then I’d like to work in marketing or advertising. I hope with the connections I’ve made I could still find a job in the industry, just in a different capacity.”
She may be young, but Selina displays wisdom beyond her years, and is very secure in her faith. She shares, “One of my hopes is that I can use my modeling success as a platform to bring God’s glory to light. I really care about all the young girls who email me with their insecurities wanting to know how to be a model and what they need to change to be beautiful. I want every young person to know that they are beautiful and blessed, and encourage them to embrace faith, a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude.”
Selina divides her time between Los Angeles and New York, renting apartments during photo shoots, but the 20-year-old still has her roots firmly planted in her hometown of Prosper.
“With all my traveling I don’t really live anywhere, which is kind of sad, actually. But, I love Prosper, and I know that no matter what I do in my life, I always have my hometown to fall back on,” she said. “I often think of the words of my high school principal Mr. Greg Wright. He would tell us that ‘dedication plus pride plus hard work equals success’ and that ‘we are all family, dream big!’ I’ll always be Prosper proud…that’s for sure!”’