Meet LaDrienna McMillian
I must admit I was not too excited when the editor told me that my first interview for 44S would be with someone who had participated in the reality show Bridezilla. While I don’t watch the show, I know full well the concept of the show: a spoiled, nasty diva-princess virtually alienates her entire bridal party and family with her senseless, never-ending, totally irrational, uncompromising demands.
So it was with this trepidation that I first met “Bridezilla”. At five foot nothing, wearing killer stilettos and an attitude that’ll announce itself, she appeared to be everything I thought she would be. I could not have been more wrong. And after reading this article, you might just change your mind too.
LaDrienna was raised by the proverbial single-mother, besieged by the common struggles of that life. But it was that struggle made LaDrienna and her mother very close. Male figures were hard to come by however. She had sporadic father-daughter relationship with her brothers’ father. Limited as it was, it was a better relationship than the one she had with her own father, which was virtually non-existent.
Struggling financially with no real male figures to guide her, LaDrienna could have easily settled for nothing. Yet by the time she had graduated from high school, she was all ready a licensed cosmetologist, a life long dream of hers.
Another dark period of her life would begin her love of fashion. It would begin with an accident that would leave her in coma and the loss of her sense of smell. LaDrienna and her boyfriend (he is her son’s father) at the time were riding a motorcycle when a car ran a stop sign and hit them. She was flipped off the back of a motorcycle and went into the windshield of a car.
Gravely injured, she lay in a coma. The doctors told her mother that she might be vegetable or never walk again. But that didn’t stop her mother and grandmother from praying over her everyday. And one week later, their prayers were answered and LaDrienna woke-up. (Insert a amen here!)
But she woke up to a face that wasn’t hers. She was so swollen and bruised from the accident that her nine month old son didn’t recognize her; in fact, he was scared of her, because in her words, she looked like the “elephant man”. Instead of worrying if she’d ever get her looks back, she worried if her son would ever want to come near her again.
Two weeks later, finally recovering at home, a friend’s phone call in the middle of the night would bring more devastating news. Her son’s father, admittedly the love of her life, had been accidentally shot and killed when someone sprayed the crowd trying to kill someone else.
Of that night, LaDrienna talked slowly, still pained by the loss of the man she loved. She said it was like being in a dream, with parts half remembered and shaded, and others vivid and unforgetful. Her most vivid memory: the medics pulling the sheet over his lifeless body.
LaDrienna shrank into depression; the life she had imagined for herself was now gone. She was also a single mother too, and that brought a new set of fears.
To escape her depression, LaDrienna began shopping, putting together outfits that made people notice. Not only were women coming to her asking her where she got her clothes, they were also asking could she help them put something together. She quickly began wondering how she could make their interest work for her.
From that simple question has come a future titan in the making: LaDrienna now has her own model agency, an on-line boutique where she sell shoes, is designing a line of tee-shirts, hostess of numerous fashion shows and still manages to work a full-time job.
Thing were going along happily for LaDrienna. She was having success after success with all of her aspirations and she had fallen in love again, when a friend called the reality show “Bridezilla”. The producers were instantly enraptured with her “my way or no way” attitude.
Doing the show had its ups and downs, but she couldn’t change anything. Instead of showcasing a spoiled, mean monster, the audience found a real-life bride who made them laugh and root for her. And despite some setbacks, LaDrienna was happy.
But her happiness was to be short lived. Because the man that LaDrienna had fallen in love with and married in front of the world was harboring a dark secret: he was a drug addict. And a mere forty-five days after their wedding, in a drug fueled rage, he put a gun to her head and said “she was going to hell, and he was going to jail.”
In that moment she was faced with death yet again, LaDrienna recalls her frantic plea. “God, if you let me live, I won’t go back.” Suddenly, there came a knock at the door. A friend stopping by unexpectedly startled her husband and caused him to run. It also saved LaDrienna’s life.
Say what you want about her, LaDrienna is a survivor. What would have crippled most people has caused her to thrive. It gave her the mindset of most successful people; you should live your life on your own terms. Period.
Despite having lost so much in the past, this future mogul is planning steadily for future: A line of fashionable tees, perfume, exciting shows and a cruise for like minded
article by: Mrs 44S