In this episode of Badass Black Girl, MJ talks with Tico Armand, an international model, activist, philanthropist, creative director, and children’s book author. She is co-author of The Adventures of YAYA, the first in a 12-part series about the adventures of a Haitian child named Yaya. It was written after Tico traveled to Haiti after the hurricane and realized there was a need to makesustainability a part of Haiti. They discuss her world travels, her collaboration on her latest project, and the difference between partnership with potential and partnership with purpose and passion.
Tico discusses her writing process. MJ asks what happens when Tico and her writing partner don’t agree. Tico explains that they always find a way to laugh and focus on solutions. MJ asks Tico how she takes care of her body as a model and how she cares for her mental health. Tico shares that she was touched inappropriately when she was a small child and the devastating toll that wreaked on her for many years. They discuss healing from the root, and the importance of loving yourself no matter what size you are. She shares how she walked away from modeling jobs where she was expected to lose an unhealthy amount of weight. Tico shares some tips on self care. She stays away from anything toxic and surrounds herself with a tribe of women who understand her. She also takes social media breaks from time to time to detox.
MJ asks where her interest in philanthropy and activism came from, and Tico shares that it started at a very young age. They discuss the taboo of discussing mental health in the Haitian community and how there is a very real need for psychological intervention, especially among young children in Haiti, who often grow up without experiencing a normal childhood. They talk about how NGOs are crippling the country and Tico mentions a mentorship program she is starting between people in the U.S. and Haiti.
Born in one of the poorest yet richest islands in the Western Hemisphere, Tico likes to remind the world that as a pioneer, Haiti fought for freedom and granted that freedom to Blacks around the world. Tico is an international model, a public figure and a community activist. Tico is co-founder of ReRoute 2 Purpose, an organization that focuses on the development, stability, healing and accountability of women through an empowerment-centered and transformational brunch. Tico continues to take major strides in helping women find their purpose and heal from emotional, physical and emotional trauma. Haiti has instilled in Tico the fervor and poise that keeps her both grounded and lifted. Through her vast experience in the world of modeling, entertainment and arts, Tico has become a powerhouse. As she continues her journey in helping young girls and women flourish seamlessly through personal development, Tico embraces her passion for imaginative stories that teach young generations about their history, culture and language through The Adventures of Yaya.