Kamloops model overcoming past trauma and expanding ideas of gender expression | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops model overcoming past trauma and expanding ideas of gender expression

Joey Roo is a Kamloops based model who is expanding ideas of gender expression. He describes himself as a ‘makeup obsessed, gothic fashionista with big dreams’.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jo Sarada
May 26, 2021 - 7:30 AM

Kamloops creative, Joey Roo, is expanding ideas of gender expression through modelling.

In the past, the 25-year-old has experienced assault, mental health challenges, job insecurity and homelessness. He is currently working full time in the construction industry while perfecting makeup application and modelling on the side.

He says he is still processing the traumatic parts of his past, but is finding a positive outlet through creative, artistic expression.

“I am taking the broken pieces and making something awesome with them,” Roo said. “I’ve always been a hard worker with a lot of hustle. If feels good to put my work ethic into something I’m passionate about. My style and gender expression can be a bit of a mystery to many, but I’ve shared amazing moments and conversations with others where both of us realize we can’t make assumptions about one another based on looks or style.”

Joey has struggled with low self-esteem and has been in and out of treatment for anxiety. Yet, when he is doing makeup or in front of a camera, he says he feels powerful and confident. Now he is courageously expanding perspectives of beauty.

“I struggle with confidence and modelling has given me so much,” Roo said. “I am an aspiring makeup artist and my main client really inspired me to push myself to really get out there and make my dreams happen. At some point we all need to stop waiting for others to realize our worth and trust ourselves.”

For the past year, Joey has been modelling for Jo Sarada doing boudoir and creative photography. She is the owner at Captured by Jo Photography. Joey says he loves that she supports his ideas.  

“Boudoir is fairly new to me,” Roo said. “I was introduced to boudoir by Jo Sarada. She has become my main photographer. She is amazing. She has a way of making me feel so comfortable and bringing out a side in me that radiates confidence. I have so many crazy photo shoot ideas and Jo is so amazing at making my ideas reality.”

Being Simpcw Nations, Roo has also been working with fashion designer and photographer, Kim Coltman, owner at Fashion Speaks International. Their most recent collaboration was a photo shoot earlier this month.

Several models gathered to bring awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and children.

On May fifth, Kamloops indigenous models and fashion talents gathered to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Models from left to right back row: Tanya Pellett, Sienna Peters, Ruth Peters, Joey Roo, Jessika Fey L`Heureux, Kel-C Jules. Models from left to right front row: Margaret Hyslo, Nikita Eberle.
On May fifth, Kamloops indigenous models and fashion talents gathered to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Models from left to right back row: Tanya Pellett, Sienna Peters, Ruth Peters, Joey Roo, Jessika Fey L`Heureux, Kel-C Jules. Models from left to right front row: Margaret Hyslo, Nikita Eberle.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kim Coltman

“I was so honoured to be a part of the project,” Roo said. “I represented Two-Spirit people who are also overrepresented as the missing and murdered phenomena continues. I had a purple hand print on my face. This experience was beautiful, powerful and unforgettable.”

Joey’s dream is to have a mobile crew of talented designers, photographers and makeup artists that could manage all aspects of beauty and design for projects and events. He plans to take modelling further and work with local fashion boutiques. He aspires to take the makeup artist course at the Interior Academy. He has recently been added to his first PR list by a Canadian lash company.

Joey's advice?

"Be your own damn hype man and know how awesome you are." You can follow Joey on Instagram.


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