Tell me about yourself.
Deveney: My name is Deveney Marshall, but everyone calls me Dev. I’m a native New Orleanian. I hold a BA in psychology from Dillard University. I would consider myself a bonafide creative! I’m a filmmaker, an actress, and a lifestyle blogger. I run the lifestyle & beauty website thedevandthecity.com, which showcases every aspect of my life, from my style to the music I’m currently listening to, to various events I attend around the country. My blog is focused on being unapologetic. Every year, I sum up my feelings and in 2017 I was the "Angry Black Girl". I also just wrapped up production for my first short film “Chains: The Story A Lost Black Man’s Soul.” It tells the story of a young, black, college student facing a major identity crisis. I’m super excited about that! My ultimate goal as a creative is to always provoke thought, and spark dialogues about topics that are often deemed as “taboo.”
What are your beauty struggles?
Deveney: A beauty struggle I've had even to this day is reminding myself that I don't have to meet anyone's beauty standards. When I got to the age of 10, I realized what the world thought was beautiful and I felt like I didn't fit into that mold. I was always outside of the box. My weight has also been a struggle for me. I've always been a curvy girl. When you're younger, you think something is wrong with you because you are different. I used to wear baggy clothes to hide my shape. It took me until 2015 (25 years old) to realize that beauty wasn't based on your outer appearance. I realized I wasn't big or fat-- I was just me!
My journey as a black dark-skinned woman is very different from other dark-skinned women. I've always loved my color because my parents encouraged me to love myself. However, I've learned that not everyone had that. When you love yourself people want to tear you down; they want to take your confidence away. When I share my journey, some people just don't understand what women of color go through. They don't understand the deeper meaning behind things.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Deveney: I meet a lot of random people who give me gems of knowledge, but my grandma used to tell me to never mold myself into anyone else but myself. I didn't understand that until I got older. I realized we all have this way of changing ourselves to make others happy. Change is good. Change is growth, but do it for you. Become the best version of yourself for you!
Are there things that you encounter that your counterparts do not?
Deveney: As a dark-skinned black actress, I feel like I have to be perfect. Other people can make mistakes and just show up and get the part. I can't do that. Directors usually never know where to place me and usually cast me as the best friend. They always say I take away from the lead, but never want to cast me as the lead. My voice often goes unheard and I am usually cast in a supporting role even if I am fit for the lead role.
What is your self-care routine?
Deveney: Last year, I actively started practicing my self-care routine. Weekly, I do mental health checks because I think self-care is deeper than body scrubs, bath bombs, face masks, and candles; although I do love skincare! I do yoga surrounded by crystals and have 30 minutes to an hour of prayer. This makes me feel like I have a wall of defense in a world that tries to tear me down. My girlfriends and I have brunch once a week to catch up and decompress from the week. If you don’t take care of yourself, this world will tear you down in ways you don't see coming. I also listen to a lot of Sampha's music! My favorite songs are Under by Sampha and I Am by Quiñ.
Keep up with Deveney on her journey:
Instagram: @devandthecity (personal) @thedevandthecity (website)