Healthy Hollywood: Nana Meriwether's Model Beauty!

Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether helped get the party started at Fashion Week in New York City.

Healthy Hollywood celebrated with Nana and kicked off the weeklong fashion fest in style and with the right attitude, as I got invited to attend the Carrie Hammer show which spotlights “role models, not runway models.”

Instead of gorgeous amazons sashaying down the runway, the designer had real women with a mind for business walking in her line of career-oriented fashion. Along with Nana, media executives, entrepreneurs and a host of other savvy women took to the catwalk.

“We are looking for role models, not models. This show has women who have worked hard to get where they are and are still aspiring to do big things,” Nana explained to Healthy Hollywood.

Nana, who is friends with the designer, is busy these days with her non-profit organization called The Meriwether Foundation. The foundations run health, education, nutrition, and empowerment programs in impoverished villages in southern Africa.

“I have been inspired all throughout my life to give back. The change I want to see in the world is to see that everyone is treated equally and has equal access to better health and a long life,” states Nana.

As a former beauty pageant contestant, she’s also concerned about young women and their sometimes harsh judgments of themselves.

“I think too often we compare ourselves to other girls and that can only eat you alive. It’s really important to start building yourself and not look to next person and be jealous or catty. It’s a hard lesson to learn. When I was competing in Miss USA it was really hard not to say ‘I want her hair’ or ‘I want her eyelashes’ or ‘I want her dress.’ But, it is the woman who is mentally strong and competent and ambitious that usually wins Miss USA (or other competitions),” reveals Nana.

While the 28-year-old has let go of her beauty pageants ambitions, she’s still very conscious of looking and feeling good inside and out.

“I do a lot of juicing and try to work out at least four times a week. Even if you have 10 minutes, go on a jog for 10 minutes and come back. It really does change your body and your outlook. You’re more awake, your energy is better. I’m a very big advocate of working out.”

For more on Nana’s do-good work, check out www.meriwetherfoundation.org.

-- Terri MacLeod

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