Her name is Nerissa Irving, but you can call her Imperial Goddess…and Goddess she is. Nerissa is the most coveted, sought after, googled, and blogged about Rasta model on the web. You can see her angelic face on just about any dreadlock, or loc website or blog. She is a steady working print and video model; and very recently she became the first loc’d Playboy model ever. I had the opportunity to interview this loc’d Queen and I asked her the questions many were thinking…enjoyWA: Congratulations on your recent spread in Playboy Magazine, what an accomplishment! I look at it as an accomplishment because you are the 1st woman of African descent to be featured with locs. How did you feel when you were asked to do the spread?
NI: Thank you , I'm very honored to grace the pages among beautiful women.. Wow, when I got the message through "Myspace" from the Playboy photographer asking me to come and test, I was shocked. I really didn't know how to respond, but I'm very outgoing so gave him a ring to get more info.. I went to test, took a few pics, and a few days later I got back a call saying I'm invited to go Costa Rica to shoot for Playboy. I was soooo happy, but scared cause I didn't know how my mother would respond yet alone my family and the Rastafarian community.. But I talked to my mother about it and the opportunities it would bring me and she stood by my side the whole way.. I couldn't care less what anyone else thought then..If mommies in my corner, then I was good.
WA: How have people been receiving you since you done Playboy, positive & negative?
NI: I've been getting alot of positive feedback, no negative yet lol.. Some people said I didn't need it, but they still love it.. I feel like I broke a barrier down for natural women. Sooo I'm hella proud..
WA: Loc'd women everywhere admire your drop dead gorgeous look & locs. I know you see yourself everywhere all over the internet being used by bloggers and site developers worldwide, yet you don't seem bothered at all. How do you feel about that?
NI: I was bothered in the beginning because i thought it was rude for people to steal your pics for their promotion without compensating me.. But when i realized I couldn't control it, I just started collecting the fliers and CD covers people used and started helping them promote their work. Its become a hobby of mine to collect the artwork made of me.. So anyone else with artwork of me, send it to me LOL :)..
WA: How long have you rocked natural hair and your locs?
NI: I've been growing my locs since I was 1.. so 22 years now.
WA: What is the current length of your locs now?
NI: Wow, it stops right under my butt.
WA: Do you think you will ever cut them?
NI: Never in a million years.. you couldn't pay me to cut them..
WA: How do you avoid traction with the obvious length and heaviness of your locs?
NI: I don't have any issues with that at all..
WA: What is your loc regimen? How do you care for them?
NI: All I put in my hair is olive oil.. and I rub it on my locs as well for a shine.. I keep my hair in a stocking cap to prevent lint.
WA: How has dating been for you as a loc'd woman. I know that locs are mainstream now, but I mean how has it been for you in the past?
NI: Lol, I have no issues with the boys.. their goood, I'm the bad one lol.. But I'm very attracted to guys who have dreds, i cant help it..
WA: You are definitely an Empress on the rise; what are your future goals & plans?
NI: Thank you, . I will be working on my own clothing line real soon, as well as my own line of haircare products..
WA: Any words of advice for us upcoming Queens & Empresses?
NI: Be yourself..Become your own product and sell it with class.
WA: Anything you want to add?
NI: I'm soo thankful for everyone's support.. I'm glad Natural can still make a difference.. Hugs and Kisses to you all.