Self-love is the best kind of love. That’s the mantra of F.A.C.E.
F.A.C.E., fashion, artistic, creativity and elegance, is a club that encourages confidence and feeling one’s best through photo shoots, runway walks and powerful dance choreography.
Aaron Gray, a senior healthcare studies major, is the current president of F.A.C.E. Gray joined F.A.C.E. during his freshman year. Almost missing tryouts because of nerves, Gray pulled through and attended. This worked out in his favor because three days later, he received an email that told him he made it.
“Now I’m confident. When I walk on the runway, I feel confident,” Gray says after years of experience being involved in the modeling club.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the spring and fall, F.A.C.E. was not meeting frequently, as many of the other clubs on campus were. The modeling club was only able to meet two or three times the entire 2020–21 school year. This setback did not stop their executive board from making efforts to restore the club for the current year.
Only two to five people showed up last year, while 15–20 attend the club now.
“I want to build the organization from the ground up; bigger and better. I want to come with the fire,” says Gray.
The executive board does not do this work to improve the club alone. By having deeper interactions with their members, the club has been able to gauge where their members are. They ask questions focused on the club’s improvement, such as, “how do we [the executive board] teach? How do [students] feel about F.A.C.E. as a whole?
Is there anything specific [they] want to work on?”
When asked how it feels for F.A.C.E. to be back on campus, Troya Coote, vice president of the club and senior psychology major, says, “words cannot explain how excited I am to bring it back to how it used to be and having everybody and myself get this opportunity to grow, model and show everybody what we got.”
F.A.C.E.’s series of runway walks usually include a powerful walk to upbeat music like “Body “by artists like Megan the Stallion, or a slower paced walk to “No Guidance” by Drake and Chris Brown. They work on perfecting their walks to both forms of music. When walking down the runway footwork and use of space is a key focus.
La’Shae Young, a senior majoring in public health and psychology, is the walking coach for F.A.C.E. She emphasizes how important “proper etiquette” is on the runway. “No chewing gum, no lip-syncing the music, no ratchet poses,” Young says. “Everything you do is always a picture.”
She says that every walk is different. “[There is] no such thing as a perfect walk. You’re your own individual
person. Your personality comes through in the walk.”
According to Young, different designers look for their own specific style of model and look that they want
to achieve during their show.
Whether it’s working on your walk, choreography or your outfit, there is support throughout the club, from the executive board down to the other club members.
At the beginning of practice, it is a common ritual to check on the members and help build camaraderie by asking a serious of questions. These questions cover a range of topics from a simple “how was your day” to school or relationship focused questions like “how is your schoolwork going?” and “what is your love language?”
“We’re really just a big family. We call each other the F.A.C.E. fam. We go out together. We study together. We hang out together,” says Gray.
Whether it’s the laughing that can be heard around the room or the constant affirmations like “we’re all here for you” or “do you need a confidence booster?,” their strong bond is shown in a multitude of ways.
F.A.C.E. isn’t only about modeling but is also hands-on with social justice. Coote was able to experience a march, hosted by BSU and F.A.C.E., back in 2020 during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“BLM was what we were going through at the moment, and it was a big movement, so the fact that I was a part of it and was actually able to speak out about how I felt about it [the injustices at the time] and be in the newspaper was a big experience. It was just great,” Coote said.
Collaborations with the Black Student Union, flash mobs, photoshoots and volunteer work are just some of the events held by this power and confidence oozing club over the semesters.
Gray was involved in the march. “BSU reached out to us about walking with them during the march. We jumped at the opportunity because we are one of the few predominantly black clubs on campus and for our own personal reasons,” says Gray.
Story by: Hailey Roy