Nia Sioux shares her story with dote.
Dote: You just turned 18—happy (belated) birthday! What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self? Nia: Love yourself unconditionally! Love your body and the skin you are in. Don’t worry about having the perfect body or shape—that does not exist. Embrace your flaws and your strengths. Sometimes what you think are your greatest flaws are your most beautiful assets and make you unique.
Dote: You’re involved with Childhelp, a non-profit that helps victims of child abuse. Can you share a bit about the organization and how you got involved? Nia: This spring, I visited the Childhelp national headquarters in Phoenix. I was amazed that the facility was so child-centered and was really impressed with the mission of the organization. Child abuse is a sensitive subject and many people do not like to talk about it so there is a lot of misinformation out there. Childhelp recognizes the trauma of child abuse victims and provides an array of services to children in need. Childhelp provides a variety of resources under one roof, so child abuse victims do not have to travel to different locations to get the help they need. The advocacy and professional level of care provided at Childhelp was inspiring. I was crying after my visit because I wanted to help.
Dote: Between acting on The Bold And The Beautiful, dancing, singing, and being a creator with millions of fans, your schedule must be crazy! How do you relax and unwind? What does self care look like for you? Nia: I work hard and my schedule is incredibly demanding, so self care is very important to me. It is essential that you learn to take time for yourself. You need to refuel your mind, body, and spirit. I have found I need a balance of work and play. I can go weeks without having a break in my schedule, so I have learned to schedule some “me time” in my calendar and not feel guilty about it. It is easy to get burned out if you do not take the time to focus on you. My time is my most precious resource, so when I have moments alone, I like to read, soak in a hot bath, light a candle, facetime a friend or binge watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. I love to spend my free time traveling the world or hanging out with family and friends.
Dote: You have a very special relationship with your mom. Can you share with us how she inspires you? Nia: I am super close with my mom. I spend more time with her than anyone else, so she truly gets me. We have a close bond like most mothers and daughters and I know I can trust her with anything. She always has my back and looks out for me. We often joke that she is not only my mother, but my roommate and glorified personal assistant. She has sacrificed a lot for me to pursue my dreams, but I know she would do that for any of her kids. My mom is a big believer in education and she inspires me to always work hard in school because no one can ever take my education away from me. My mom worked on her doctorate while raising a family and being a full-time principal, so she taught me the value of education and hard work.
Dote: Your career has put you in pretty amazing company. Can you share an example of meeting someone really important to you? Nia: My career has blessed me with fabulous opportunities to meet with some amazing people. One of my greatest highlights was meeting First Lady Michelle Obama during the Reach Up College Signing Day. That was probably the ultimate “WOW!” moment for me. I had the chance to speak with her briefly and she even gave me a hug. Having the opportunity to meet and take a photo with First Lady Obama was a priceless experience.
Dote: When you’re feeling overwhelmed with what life throws at you, how do you bring yourself back to a grounded place? Nia: It is so easy to get caught up in emotions and become overwhelmed. I talk to my friends to distract me from the things that truly are not important in life. I also talk to my mom and dad—they provide a safe place for me to vent and remind me of the priorities in life. Sometimes I take a break from social media while other times I either work out or dance. Physical activity is a great release for me and a wonderful way for me to relieve stress or express my emotions.
Dote: Your #RoleModelMonday series is one of our favorite things on the internet. What led you to start it? Nia: I recognize that I am fortunate to have a social media platform with a tremendous number of followers. I believe that with that privilege comes great responsibility and I wanted to be able to use my platform for good. There are so many people out there in the world doing so many incredible things that inspire me. Many of these people do not have enormous platforms to share their stories, so I like to highlight ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. Their stories inspire me, so I hope they inspire others, too. Whether it is someone who shares a similar interest or passion, or perhaps it is someone who looks like you, has overcome an obstacle, challenge or adversity, the idea behind #RoleModelMonday is to inspire others. Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good underdog story. This project is authentic to me because I love the stories. I have been fortunate enough to meet several of the people that I have highlighted in #RoleModelMonday over the years and some of them have become my friends.
Dote: What are you most looking forward to over the next year? Nia: Since I just turned 18, I am looking forward to the “adulting” experience. I am a senior in high school, so I have this gift of a year to be a kid and an “adult’ at the same time. Graduating in 2020 sounds pretty cool, too.
Dote: We’re crazy about your style. Where do you get your fashion inspiration? Nia: Why, thank you! That means a lot. I am a curvy girl. I am fit and healthy and definitely have curves, a butt, and a bust. You do not always find flattering images of girls who look like me on social media or in magazines. There is still not a lot of diversity with people of color or body sizes in fashion and beauty. Unfortunately, it is not always seen as the standard for beauty. Instead of covering up and hiding my body, I decided to embrace and celebrate it. This is the body that God gave me, and while it may not be perfect to some, it is imperfectly me—and I like me. So, I feel inspired when I see others who embrace their beauty being confident in their bodies and/or skin. That’s beauty to me. Ashley Graham is one of my heroes. I look for trends, colors, and looks that might compliment my body and style. I do not take fashion too seriously. Fashion and beauty are art and should be outlets for artistic expression. I like to have fun with my style. Sometimes, I nail a look and sometimes I might miss the mark, but I always try to have fun in the process.
Dote: What’s the last app you downloaded? Nia: I did not exactly download an app, but I reactivated my TikTok account. It has been a minute since I made a new TikTok video. I have been so busy with work that I forgot how much fun it is to create TikTok videos. Let’s just say I have had a blast filming some pretty funny TikToks. I hope my followers enjoy watching them as much as I had fun making them. I am looking to do some collabs soon. Look for me on TikTok @NiaSioux Dote: What are some of the songs on your summer 2019 playlist? Nia: My younger brother says I only have 5 songs on my summer 2019 playlist. LOL… That Is not quite true, but I do have some favorites. I am in love with Lizzo right now and Truth Hurts is my anthem. I love Normani’s new song, Motivation, and of course my favorite guy, Khalid’s Right Back. Plot Twist by Marc E. Bassy is another one of my favorites and I’m into the collab by ROSALIA, J Balvin and El Guincho, Con Altura. These round out my summer 2019 playlist!
Dote: What advice would you give young girls just entering the industry or getting started as creators? Nia: Love what you do and do what you love. Do not chase followers or people. Stay true to yourself and your standards. It can be a tough industry, so surround yourself with people you can trust.
Dote: What’s one thing you never leave home without? Nia: My phone. It is my lifeline. I cannot remember the last time I went anywhere without my phone.
Dote: What’s your favorite book and why? Nia: After by Anna Todd. It is the ultimate love story. Once I started the series, I could not stop until I finished it. I love everything about it—the characters, the toxic relationship, the intensity of the situation. I love the book so much and I would love to be in one of the After movies one day!
Dote: What’s your favorite family tradition? Nia: Baking cookies with my TiTi Dora is one of my favorite family traditions. We usually bake at Christmas time and I look forward to spending time with her in the kitchen. Sometimes, we experiment with new recipes, but we always make time to bake our favorite cookie recipes. My Aunt is a foodie like me and we appreciate good food and company. The kitchen is a great place to be during the holidays. We laugh a lot and share a lot of stories.
Dote: What’s your favorite clothing brand on dote? Nia: That is a tough question because there are so many great choices. I love discovering new brands and there are certain brands that I love for certain parts of my wardrobe. But, if I had to choose, I would say right now I am a little obsessed with Urban Outfitters. I find myself shopping there a lot for a variety of things—jeans, dresses, accessories…. The list goes on and on.
Dote: What’s something your followers may not know about you? Nia: I love Monopoly! I even have a Monopoly collection of different editions. I love when my friends come over to play games. What is a game night without a Monopoly marathon? I am super competitive and I love to win.