• Stefan Amali

Vanessa Gilkes : A Light-Hearted Thought Leader

Barbadians are typically some of the most light-hearted people you will ever meet.

Regardless of the challenges that come with living on the island, being carefree and maintaining a positive outlook on life is a core part of the Bajan spirit. On the coat of arms in Barbados, the words pride and industry are indelibly etched. Some may say, at times the pride outweighs the industry but no one in their right mind would make such an erroneous statement about Vanessa Gilkes.

Courtesy of @nessytg


Gilkes is a multifaceted thought leader, whose eclectic interests span the arts, fitness wellness, modeling, and most importantly motherhood. The witty, left-hander is revered as one of the island's most exotic women, but her physical attributes are only a minuscule representation of her true resplendence.


As a creative, Gilkes's artistic pursuits are grounded by her academic background in graphic design and advertising. She has a natural ability to conjure pristine aesthetics, using digital mediums, and the design of her Instagram page depicts that clearly. Even before becoming proficient as a digital media creator, Gilkes fell in love with traditional art forms of artistic expression. Pointillism is indeed her strongest suit and the level of details in her drawings are reflective of woman who is obsessed with minuscule details.


Courtesy of @nessytg


Her obsession with details does not come from pedantic place! Gilkes is an incredibly curious and adventurous soul who takes pride in knowing the intricacies about everything that intrigues her. She takes tremendous pride in overcoming challenges hence why her fitness regime is so intense. Though she has modelled for some of the top Carnival bands in the Caribbean, Gilkes does not only nurture her body for carnival... for her, it is a way of life.


©Kyle Babb


Pole fitness has recently emerged as a popular exercise method in the Caribbean and Gilkes has unequivocally lent her support to the exercise form. She enjoys being impish and a bit disruptive, in an extremely conservative socio-cultural environment like that which exists in Barbados.

Some people may criticize pole fitness for its inherent sexual connotations but for Gilkes... that’s where the fun is.

Courtesy of @nessytg


Her unwavering confidence and a remarkable sense of humor, make Gilkes a delightful woman to be around on any given occasion. Though she is extolled for her eye-catching looks, her commitment to motherhood and family defines the core of her existence.


Grounded in a loving marriage, she has cultivated a family environment where her girls are taught to express themselves and their emotions freely. Growing up with Vanessa Gilkes as their mother, it’s unlikely that they will be lacking in neither style nor self-confidence.


For more on Pole Fitness or for a list of studios in Barbados to learn or practice this craft, be sure to: DOWNLOAD OUR LIST HERE!

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