Model Ebonee Davis believes that we suffer for a greater purpose

The essay below is written by Galore’s newest Cover Girl, Ebonee Davis. Ebonee is an author, actress, and model from NYC. Ebonee was a participant of Season 18 of America’s Next Top Model, and she has a popular TED Talk where she discusses the difficulties of being a black woman in the modeling and fashion industries. 

The model is also known for her famous Calvin Klein campaign, because she was photographed with her natural hair (queen). Ebonee has walked for Yeezy and has participated in big campaigns like Victoria’s Secret Pink, Urban Outfitters, and GAP.

We love our newest Cover Girl, Ebonee! Check out the exclusive essay and photoshoot with her below!

Jumpsuite: Savage x FentyJewelry: Ebonee’s own

My mom called Sunday afternoon just as I was disembarking my airplane at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport to inform me that she had recently become homeless.

I made the trip so that I could attend Vogue Magazine’s 15th anniversary CFDA Fashion Fund event. Since I began modeling, it seems that I’ve been forced to live this double life; suspended between the story I am creating for myself and the story that was handed down to me.

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The separation has only become more apparent as my visibility within the entertainment industry grows. And the reality of this juxtaposed life has induced within me inexplicable pain.

Lingerie Set: Savage x Fenty, Earrings: Stylist’s own, Glasses: CHRISTIANAHJONES

Zebra Set + Kimono: Savage x Fenty, Necklaces: H. Crowne

All lingerie: Savage x Fenty

I am often asked why I so vehemently proclaim my belief in God, and the truth is, I have no choice not to. I have to believe there’s a reason for the pain — a lesson, a plan, an outcome that I cannot yet see from my limited perspective. I have to believe that there is a divine order within the midst of chaos and that my pain is for the greater good; the greater good of myself and the greater good of humanity.

I have to believe that my pain gives me purpose by putting me in a position to be of service to others, and that by sharing my struggle, I will help free those who are psychologically imprisoned by their own trauma. I have to believe in a love that exists which does not involve suffering — an unconditional love — because the alternative is that these experiences mean nothing.

That some people’s lives are simply better and some people’s lives are worse and it’s all a luck of the draw. That our collective suffering is in vein and what we “love” with inevitably result in agony.

Zebra Set + Kimono: Savage x Fenty, Necklaces: H. Crowne

Top: Dyspnea, Panties: Savage x Fenty, Earrings: Queenie Cao, Hat: Piers Atkinson

I have encountered many who argue that believing in God is completely irrational and I have released the idea that it is my job to convince them otherwise. But to me, God is the most rational explanation I have for these experiences. My sanity relies on the notion that every experience I’ve had has been perfectly orchestrated for the ascension of my soul and the ascension of humanity.

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For me, this particular photo shoot represents the next level of my ascension. It is the first photo shoot I did after relocating to Los Angeles to pursue acting. I came into acting the same way I came into activism: it was what I needed to do to save my life. I had to take what was hurting inside of me and put it out into the world so that I could free myself from it — so that I could keep it from swallowing me whole.

Bodysuit: Savage x FentyNecklaces: H. Crowne, Earrings: Queenie Cao

I have to express.

I have to walk in my truth.

I have to explore the many facets of myself that were once deemed inappropriate and inadequate by society to keep from going insane.

Acting is therapy to me. It is relief.

I did not set out into the world knowing that I wanted to be an artist. I started making art to cope, to communicate my truth and to manage what seemed to be an unmanageable burden. I make art to escape victimhood, to empower myself and to share my story instead of allowing corrosive emotions to fester inside of me.

Teddy: Vintage Frederick’s of Hollywood, Dress: Dyspnea, Glasses: CHRISTIANAHJONES, Earrings & necklace: H. Crowne

I make art to translate the feelings that there are no words for. I make art because often times art is the only thing that makes sense.

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I was once told that God doesn’t waste pain. If that is true, then I know He has big plans for me. I have committed my life to being a vessel for the truth and I am excited to take this next step in my journey.

Photos by: Prince & Jacob

Styling by: Alexandra Mandelkorn

Makeup: Kelly Hunt

All lingerie: Savage x Fenty

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