Last year, Miami teen Rachel Jeantel was thrust into the public eye following the tragic murder of her friend Trayvon Martin. Of course, this new-found exposure has opened her up to a world of criticism and scrutiny, which radio host Tom Joyner has her in counseling for. But Rachel says that she doesn’t pay much attention to people’s negative comments.
“I don’t really care about that. I can’t let them put me down. I was there to help a friend out,” she told The Grio of her decision to testify in the highly publicized trial.
As for all of the support she’s received, Rachel says she’s truly thankful.
“I’m blessed. That’s the truth. Everybody wants to be in my shoes right now. But for me, I’m taking this opportunity, and I’m hitting it hard.”
During a recent visit to New York, The Grio and Ebony Magazine teamed up to offer the soon-to-be college student the ultimate makeover.
“I’m very excited to be here. I think it’s exciting working with theGrio.com, and black media partnering together to collaborate on this project. This is the first time we have done something like this. She’s been really fabulous so far. You can tell she really loves style and fashion,” said Ebony style director Marielle Bobo.
The 19-year-old high school senior was given beautiful new hair extensions, a manicure and makeup.
“She’s super young, with all this vivaciousness and personality. We want to keep that, but translate it into ways that can work for her, for her new life as a student. We want to give her a look that’s going to translate from campus life, to any internships, or employment that she may be doing while she’s at school,” Marielle added.
You can find out more about Rachel’s life post trial and view more photos from her makeover in Ebony’s December/January issue.
Check out footage from Rachel’s makeover session below. For a sneak peak of her transformation, click to the next page.