Marissa Weiler has quite a few talents to offer. With a track & field background, extensive experience taking part in pageants, and an important role with the company Iconic Beauty, we had a mixture of items to discuss in our Q&A. It is with excitement that I present to you my latest Baller Mind Frame/Pop Culture Spin interview, one with an individual you should familiarize yourself with in Marissa.
Pop Culture Spin: Marissa, thank you for having this interview with my website. To begin, when did you first get your start as a model?
Marissa: Well my mom actually got me into modeling at the young age of 5, I was signed with a children’s talent agency and did a lot of print work. As I got older I had to be taken out of school a lot and at the time school was my main priority, so I took a break from modeling. But now that I have graduated from college and moved to California, I’ve picked up modeling again, and I’m beyond grateful for all of the big opportunities and work I’ve had.
PCS: Where are you from and what was life like for you growing up?
Marissa: I am originally from Chicago, Illinois; I was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago until my family moved to a small suburb called Morton Grove. Growing up for me was an ongoing cultural and emotional experience. I am biracial; my mom is black and my dad is white and I was raised Jewish- grew up going to synagogue and had my Bat Mitzvah when I was 13. To me growing up, there was absolutely nothing abnormal about that, but in middle school and high school, of course others found that a perfect reason to make fun of me and call me weird. I was often bullied growing up, and when I was younger it affected me a lot. Since then however, it’s just been fuel to the fire to drive me to succeed.
PCS: I know that you have a track & field background. Has having a comfort with and knowledge of your body through athletics helped at all in your current line of work?
Marissa: Absolutely. Being a high school and collegiate track athlete, I’ve been trained to know what parts of the body help you do what you need to execute your sport successfully, and how to strengthen those parts of the body as well. With that knowledge, I’ve been able to keep my body in shape for photoshoots and pageants. Of course it’s a bit more difficult now because I don’t have practice everyday and a coach motivating me, but keeping my goals in mind is what motivates me to get in the gym everyday now.
PCS: Your IG page mentions that you’re an “Iconic Beauty Model.” How did this come about and what does your position with this brand mean to you?
Marissa: Iconic Beauty is a company by Bryiana Dyrdek that is meant to be a positive platform that promotes young women who are willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to fulfill their wildest dreams. It started off as a modeling competition, which I competed in, and was honored to have won a spot as an Iconic Beauty Brand Ambassador. Since then, the brand has developed into so much more. All of us brand ambassadors have our own personal goals and have one another to rely on to help us through. We each have a specific reason that keeps us motivated, and to be a role model as an Iconic Beauty. To me, being an Iconic Beauty means helping others find the voice within themselves telling them “they can do it”, even when they feel they are at their lowest point.
PCS: What sort of modeling projects would you say suit you the best?
Marissa: I’m always open to trying new things, and I’m definitely still trying to find my niche. However, I very much enjoy fitness shoots because I’m very passionate about fitness and it’s something I have had a background in for so long.
PCS: You also have participated in some pageant type of events, even earning the title “Miss Greater San Diego USA 2016.” When did pageants become a passion of yours?
Marissa: I started competing in pageants when I was 4 years old and have been in love with it ever since. And no, it wasn’t like Toddlers and Tiaras. I only did natural pageants (not the glitz you see on reality TV)- my mom would not allow a speck of make up on my face until I was 13. And even then, it was only lip gloss and blush. But it wasn’t just about being on stage for me, it was about the hours of community service you do as a title holder, the opportunity to use your title as a microphone to promote your personal platform, and the many many friends I have made from across the country from years of pageantry.
PCS: Whether it’s a track race, a pageant, or a photo shoot throughout your life, which event has generally been the most nerve-wracking or exciting beforehand?
Marissa: I have never felt more anxiety in my life than I did every time I was about to run the 400 meter dash. It was my race, I did very well at it, but I always had a plethora of irrational thoughts before I ran it every time. I was a bigger fan of running the 4×400 meter relay.
PCS: What sort of feedback have you received from others about the variety of creative pursuits you’re involved with?
Marissa: I’ve heard it all, the good and the bad. But luckily it’s been mostly good, so I’m very happy to have the positive support in my life. And the negativity just drives me to work harder and prove everyone who told me I couldn’t, wrong. It wasn’t until college that I met people who were genuinely interested in what I was doing, and constantly asking me to keep them updated with my endeavors. The people I’ve met from Carthage College in Wisconsin, pageants, from moving to California, and of course my family, have been some of the most positive people in my life and I wouldn’t be here without them.
PCS: Beyond what we’ve already discussed, what other interests/hobbies do you have?
Marissa: I’m a big Harry Potter fan; I’m sure this summer you will often find me at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that recently opened in Hollywood. I am also a member of the Pad Squad for the San Diego Padres, so you’ll find me at home games interacting with fans, and tossing all kinds of swag into the crowd- Go Padres!
PCS: Do you have anything lined up over the course of 2016 that you’re excited about?
Marissa: Yes! I’m not hanging up those heels yet- after I crown my successor as Miss Greater San Diego USA, I will be preparing to compete in my next pageant!
PCS: Your time with us at Baller Mind Frame/Pop Culture Spin has been appreciated. Last thing before we finish – where can you be found on social media?
Marissa: Thank you so much for having me! You can find me at: