Shelly Rio: Rio Beauty
Story and interview by Matthew Shack
"Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand. Just like that river twisting through a dusty land. And when she shines she really shows you all she can. Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande." ~ From the hit song, "Rio" by Duran Duran (1983)
Shelly Rio is a really remarkable and marketable talent. She looks like a beautiful evening sunset during the HOTTEST day of summer …SMOKING!
The Ridgewood, New Jersey native is without question, one of the “it girls” in today’s modeling game. Her pedigree reads like a preverbal “who’s-who” in hip-hop. You’ve seen her featured some the most-known videos, ever:
50 Cent's "Amusement Park", Diddy's "Through the Pain", Nick Cannon's "Dime Piece", Bow Wow's "Fresh Azimiz", Ne-Yo's "Stay With Me", Rah Digga's "Party and Bullsh*t", Freeway's "Flipside", Outkast feat. Sleepy Brown's "I Can't Wait", Cassidy feat. R. Kelly's "Hotel" and Jay-Z's "La, La, La" (Excuse Me Miss Remix).
Shelly is currently on Season 4 of MTV’s Wild n Out and has graced the pages of XXL, Blackmen's, Urban Teen Scene and is sitting on your local newsstands…RIGHT NOW…blazing the cover of this month’s King Magazine along with her best friend and March 2007 Face Of The Flow, Ivonnah Erskine
And she isn’t even close to being done, so be prepared to see this exotic enchantress on a universal level within months. Arica at Hazel Eyez…you know what it is, FAM.
TFM: Give us an idea of how you got yourself started in this business.
Shelly: I started back in New Jersey because that’s where I’m from. It’s funny because I waitressing and I always wanted to model but I never pursued it because I had a little child at the time which I still have. Someone just came [into my job] and said, “You know, you should model.” I always wanted to do it, so I told myself “It’s now or never”. So, I quit my job, started modeling and it just took off from there.
TFM: As far landing principals in all of these videos, what that something that popped into your lap or did you have to put in some work?
Shelly: At the time, I want to say I was with Hillary Beckford Management Models in New York. She was sending me out on commercials and stuff like that. I guess there was an audition for Jay-Z, so I went. There really weren’t any expectations. I ran in, they called me for a call back. That same day as my call back, I had booked a commercial, so I ran in there literally with a wife-beater, some ripped up jeans not even trying to get the part, because I was so focused on my commercial I actually booked it. While everyone else was dressed in there like they were going to the club, totally over done and all make-upped out. I just went in with no make-up and I got booked.
TFM: Natural beauty wins it over every time, huh?
Shelly: Yes, I really believe that’s true. Because, if you go there all make-upped out…they can’t fix you.
TFM: So how was in working with “The King of New York” himself, Jay-Z?
Shelly: It was good! Actually, I had a lot of fun and he was really nice. It a pretty nice experience. The only thing that was a bad experience was that it was a 22-hour [video] shoot, and I had never in my life worked for 22-hours straight in my life. (Laughs) And for 10 of those hours, I was walking in shoes that were one size too small. That was the only killer that I had to experience.
TFM: What are your measurements?
Shelly: 34b-26-37 and I am 5’8.
TFM: What’s the worst pick-up line ever tried on you?
Shelly: Well, I’m married so when they [approach],I’m like “I’m married.” They’re like, “Oh if you weren’t married, I would have wifed you up too.” Or,“Here’s my number, if you and your husband get divorced…call me.”
TFM: What pet peeves do you have regarding men?
Shelly: Bad breath! (Laughing) Bad hygiene and I hate when guys act like they’re ballin’ when they’re not.
TFM: Give us one of your "patented" beauty secrets.
Shelly: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula in the canister works great for really dry skin, especially on your feet [Laughs], as well as any keloids or to fade away stretch marks!!
TFM: What advice would you give to all of those aspiring models out there, who are trying to follow in your footsteps?
Shelly: Don't ever let anyone tell you, you can't accomplish your dream no matter where you came from. Don't ever compromise to do something you normally wouldn't do, because in the end all you have to please is the man upstairs. Obey him and he will grant the desires of your heart because he is your provider, your boss, and the man that will get you the job anyway!
Check out Shelly at www.shellyrio.com