If you were ever to have the good fortune of getting stuck in an elevator with Sydney-based honey Amber Prado Richardson, this is exactly what you’d find out:
“I’m 23, half Afro-Nicaraguan and half-Australian, and a Libra. Self-care and self-love is something that I strive for on the daily, so I make sure to nourish myself through either food, skincare, laying out in the sun or just buying myself copious amounts of flowers! Music has been a big influence throughout my life, coming from both of my parents being into hip hop and R'n'B. You could not talk about me without mentioning my love for Beyoncé, Solange, Rihanna and Aaliyah... I could list more women in music that inspire me but we'd be here forever.”
Unless there’s something terribly wrong with you, you’re probably now dying to find out more important things about her, like whether she prefers to be in the city or nature, what she does in her downtime, and how in the flip she gets that incredibly #glow. Well, friends, it’s your lucky day…
First up, she lives in Strathfield, which is where we took as many snaps in her home and on the streets as our lil’ fingers could manage. Best day ever. Her fave thing about living in Strathfield (or Stra, as she calls it) is “the food for sure!” While she doesn’t eat meat herself, if you were visiting she’d take you to one of the infamous Korean BBQ places that line the suburb’s lively streets. Dreamy! She’s curious about everything in life, and admits she’s the type of person to spend hours reading Wiki pages that often take her on “very strange and sometimes irrelevant tangents.” In other words, she’s the ideal person to invite along to trivia. She reckons her curiosity is both a blessing and a curse, because “it means that [she] will often explore things in life that will take [her] nowhere, but still learns a lot along the way.”
She loves the city and nature in equal measures, which goes some way towards explaining why she vibes living in Sydney so much. Get you a city who can do both! As much as she’d love to live in a (much) more forward-thinking city, our beautiful beaches and unparalleled coastline constantly warm her heart. As the calendar clicked over into 2018, you would not have caught her making resolutions, because she doesn’t believe in them at all. “I think you should always strive to be your best self, so why should the turn of a New Year be any different?”, she says. “I feel like people place so much pressure on making a resolution that it'll be hard to complete.” *Reflects on already defunct resolution to exercise daily, and nods head in agreement.*
The hardest lesson she learnt in 2017—and one she is still working on—was learning how to love herself and her body. “Before last year I never really felt as though someone like me who is, yes, still slim, but who has a lil’ belly, hips and boobs could be accepted into the modelling industry, because you rarely ever see someone with a body like mine,” she says. “It's either ‘plus-sized’, fit or skinny girls, which are all absolutely beautiful, but not very relatable to myself or other girls like me.” As it transpires, learning how to love herself and her body was also the most rewarding thing to come from that year. Ily!
Reading isn’t her jam, but she does have a soft spot for Kim Kardashian West’s Selfish. “I guess that says a lot about me, huh?” She muses. “I could probs give KKW a run for her money and make my own selfie book.” Lol, true. Insecure is her most recent favourite TV show, in part because she loves a good WOC lead (especially because “the entertainment industry is so disproportionate when it comes to representation”).
In 2018, she’s mostly excited to watch her friends succeed, because while she doesn’t have a whole heap planned for herself, knowing what all the people around her have instore proves to be endlessly motivating. Heaven! Her best-loved thing about our generation is how passionate we are. “It's pretty amazing what our generation has done with just social media in so many different areas—whether it be creating a career based on yourself or spreading awareness on social issues, we've really got it down,” she says. An area she thinks we need to work on is being more present with our physical environment.
“It's so easy for us to be consumers and not be conscious of the amount of unnecessary waste that is being put out there, littering our poor planet and also using all the resources,” she says. “I can see that people are doing things about it but we need to try harder, myself included".
Friends and family are the number one most important thing to her in life, closely followed by hydrating and glowing (find proof of the latter here, here and here). You glow, girl. In the next 10 years, she hopes to be happy and “nothing more”, and for the world at large she hopes for decolonisation. As a woman of colour, gender and race equality is of especial importance to her—she strives to have a voice via her social media platforms, be that speaking her mind on issues like cultural appropriation or including #BlackLivesMatter in her bio. She believes spreading awareness is easy to do and can help so much because “starting a conversation is the first step to making a change.”
After a long day, she likes to unwind by watching beauty tutorials on YouTube. “I spend more time doing that than watching TV shows or movies,” she admits. “It's just fascinating to me how much skill and artistry those people have…. Also I have learnt a lot about makeup through doing that, how else do you think I got my signature glow?” Worth every single second. And her definition of cool?
“Being true to yourself and never being afraid to speak your mind…To me there is nothing cooler than doing you, and loving it.” <3<3<3<3<3<3.
Words: Maddy Woon Images & Fashion: Chloe Hill
Shot on location in Strathfield, Sydney