Via: Refinery 29
By: Gina Marinelli
Photos: Diego Villarreal

The word “no” is highly underrated. Because as successful as “yes” people are — they always rise to the occasion and are first to meet a challenge head-on — a little “no” can go a long way. In fact, turning down tried-and-tested advice and rejecting convention are what allowed the seven women below to rise to the top of their games. Like, award-winning, business-booming, land-the-job-of-your-dreams tops.
Spanning the worlds of fashion, art, film, and philanthropy, these boss ladies are the best kind of naysayers we know. While they’re starring in Emmy-award-winning TV shows and sparking conversations around early cancer detection, they’re also breaking down stereotypes of mainstream beauty and challenging antiquated ideas about how to run a business. Along with Clinique, we’re sharing their stories of the advice they didn’t take, the rules they didn’t follow, and ultimately, why the best is yet to come for these women who are facing the future with a healthy dose of badassery.
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Cipriana Quann
In early August, Cipriana, along with her identical twin, TK Wonder, announced they were both signing with IMG Models. For the street style star and cofounder of Urban Bush Babes, a lifestyle site dedicated to celebrating the natural hair movement, this accomplishment is particularly sweet — it marks her return to the modeling world on her terms.
When you first moved to New York, you worked as a model. What made you stop?
“In over a decade in the modeling industry, I had a lot of good experiences as a woman of color, but I had problems with different brands and clients just because of the texture of my hair. My hair is kinky — it doesn’t really lay down flat — so I was always asked to change it to conform to what was thought of as more ‘beautiful’ or more sellable to a mainstream audience. It was very conflicting. I saw my beauty through the beauty of my mother, my role model. My hair texture is very similar to hers, and I was constantly being told that my hair was not beautiful. That was a big factor in my leaving the industry.”
And then you started Urban Bush Babes. Why?
“I wanted to create a platform for women where they would feel comfortable being themselves, no matter how they wanted to wear their hair or dress or what music they wanted to listen to. I wanted to break down the walls associated with women of color, because in the mainstream media, you only see one side of the woman. You don’t really see multifaceted lives of women of color on a consistent basis — but you should.”…
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Read my full interview plus Actress of Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks, Founder of Fuck Cancer’s Yael Cohen Braun, Artist Petra Collins, Art/Fashion Blogger Pari Ehsan, Luxury Jewelry Designers Jodie & Danielle Snyder’s interviews visit Refinery 29 as we share the advice we ignored, how we defined our own rules and what helped us #FaceForward our goalshere