Angelique Miles is a stunning, ageless beauty who knows how to survive and thrive. In conversation with The Glow Up’s Veronica Webb, she shares how her biggest losses made her stronger and more beautiful than ever—like being downsized out of her decadeslong career as a record-label vice president who signed Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim and Busta Rhymes, among others—and surviving a disfiguring act of violence when she was only a teen.
Now 50, she’s rediscovered her purpose—and reinvented her body—as a fitness enthusiast, blogger and advocate for looking and living fabulously at any age!
The Glow Up: How did fitness move to the forefront of your life?
Angelique Miles: It’s about looking a certain way. I was 40, no longer working [in] the music industry after 20 years and gaining weight. I didn’t want to look down and out, too. I did aggressive workouts, like CrossFit, that helped me become a runner.
TGU: What are the challenges of becoming a runner later in life?
AM: I ran a half-marathon last year—and I don’t have to do it again. I started running; I didn’t run with the right shoes. I had shin splints, so I went through physical therapy. I did it just [to] prove that I could do it.
TGU: I’ve run four marathons to prove to myself that fear of pain or failure can’t limit my strength.
AM: If I’m going to call myself an athlete, athletes run. ... Before CrossFit, I could barely run 2 miles. I did a 3-miles-for-30-days challenge at first. CrossFit has great coaches. I never got hurt. It was the most challenging workout I’ve ever done. I learned how to run, I learned to do Olympic weightlifting, do pushups and pullups, things I never thought I could do.
TGU: I prize stamina over strength. You?
AM: It doesn’t matter as long as I look the way I want to look. That may sound vapid to some people ...
TGU: It’s not ugly to be vain, as long as it’s about being healthy.
AM: I did the running thing because I thought [I’d] lose lots of weight, which didn’t happen. The same thing goes for all the things I do.
TGU: That’s real.
AM: I keep goals in mind. Like right now, I’m like, “How much can I squat?”
TGU: What do you find is your quickest and most effective workout?
AM: At Exhale Spa, Cardio and Barre. It’s intense because I’m getting the strength training and the resistance training all in one class.
TGU: I see you did the “big chop”! What’s your hair routine?
AM: When I turned 40, I started to gain weight and do [a] lot of sweaty cardio. Hair was an issue. [Now I] co-wash with SheaMoisture, a little bit of coconut oil. I shape it and set with Nairobi wrap lotion and let it air-dry for 30 minutes—[I] never flat-iron. I go to the barber every two weeks; it just saves me a lot of time and energy.
TGU: What do you think your life would be like right now if you weren’t working out?
AM: There was a time that I did stop working out, for maybe, like, six months. I ballooned up to, like, 170 pounds. I’m 5 feet 8, so to most people, it didn’t look like I was big. It’s just too much weight on my frame.
TGU: What does that mean for you?
AM: My legs, feet and lower back start bothering me, and I know I need to lose 5-7 pounds. That goes a long way on my frame.
TGU: How’s your sleep?
AM: I sleep pretty well some nights, but with the hormonal changes I’m going through, sometimes I can wake up really hot at 4 a.m. and not fall asleep until 5. I think if I didn’t work out as much, it’d be a lot worse.
TGU: I’ll be completely in a fog if I don’t work out.
AM: Mental fog is a real—to the point where sometimes I feel like kind of stuck. Short meditations help. I use apps like Calm or Simple Habit. Long meditation is still not my thing.
TGU: How would you define ageless beauty?
AM: Ageless beauty is accepting all of your flaws, and realizing you’re beautiful. I was stabbed in the face when I was 16 years old. I had to get 150 stitches. And I’ve suffered psoriasis all over my face and body since I was 13 years old. My teenage years were really rough, self-esteem-wise. I hated my skin. I used to try to hide it, because on my medium-brown skin, psoriasis leaves scars.
TGU: How did you cope?
AM: In my 30s, I saw a therapist for a short period. She told me, “Your skin is your skin, and you have to love it because it’s your skin.” I find that when you don’t care, other people don’t care.
TGU: Can I ask under what circumstances you got the scar on your face?
AM: I was in [an argument] with this girl whose mother was mentally ill—in retrospect, I realize they both were emotionally ill. She confronted me one day, and I thought she’d punched me, but she’d hit me with a broken bottle. Her mother was there and said to her, “Run.” It was crazy.
Maybe it was meant to happen, for whatever reason. I’ve been doing a little bit of modeling lately, as a result of the whole fitness thing and social media. Kate Spade hired me for their fall campaign. My photo was on the website, modeling this jewelry, showing my scar. Friends from high school on Facebook reminded me, “Remember when you said you wanted to be a model and then that happened to you, and you felt like you could never be a model?” Almost 40 years later, I’m modeling for Kate Spade, and they’re showing my scar.