Modern Family By Tasha Poupee
Ever since I was a child, I knew I wanted to have many, many children. Actually, I remember specifically wanting ten. I love kids and somehow, they have always been drawn to me as well.
My childhood wasn't that great. Although my mother did her absolute best to provide everything my siblings and I could possibly need, we weren't being raised by her. She took a ship to Miami, FL in a hope for a better life for us. When I was only three years old. We had to live with our older cousins who my mother had taken in. We were never allowed to do much, but go to school, come home, and do chores. I remembered always getting spankings for doing what I was told not to do. For example, staying after school to play basketball with the boys, or just simply to hang out with other people. I've always been considered a rebel, tomboy, an outside-the-box thinker — someone who does what she feels when she feels it's right. I knew I didn't want to raise my kids how I was raised. I give my children the freedom to be who they want to be and express themselves openly and freely because I never was allowed to do that, but I did anyway, knowing the outcome.
In January of 2018, I had a talk with my brother about taking over legal guardianship of my two nephews. I didn't like how their lives were going and believed they deserved better, so by June of 2018 they were able to come live with me. In a house with three boys and one girl, they all are so different.
My daughter, my youngest nephew and I are the ones people look down on. They always make smart remarks regarding us. They say my nephew is too feminine, that I should make him stop acting that way, that I should rip it out of him, that he's a lost one. They question me as to why I allow him to act that way. My daughter is also very tomboyish. She does not like to wear skirts, he loves sports and believes she can do anything a boy can. She is fearless…. At a very early age, I would allow my kids to pick their hairstyle, what they would wear and what they wanted to do. I gave them choices in some, and in others, I gave them free will. I did the same with my nephews when they came.
My family depends on me. It’s quite overwhelming but I'll do anything for them, and they know it. I had to put modeling on hold so I could get stable and situated to get custody of my nephews. I am the breadwinner, everything comes to me. It sounds like a lot, sometimes it feels like a lot, but when it all gets settled, it feels like nothing and I would do it all again. I love my family and I want them to live freely and truly as they can in a world full of hypocrites. I remind them every day to love themselves and believe in what they do. Don't be easily influenced.
Words / TASHA POUPEE
Models / Tasha Poupee
with her children: Shaneille Florexil (16), Aundre Minnis (12), Jalen Gelisme (8) & Jaden Gelisme (7)
Photography / Julia Comita
Styling / Jenn Park Krulik
Art Direction / Stephanie Francis
Make up / Jaleesa Jaikaran
Hair / Quenton Barnette
Photo Assistants / Daniel Johnson & Alan Bartlett