Karrueche Tran has every right to be angry. About the gossip sites that parlay her dating life into clicks. About the bloggers who use every one of her ’Grams as an excuse to volley her from victim to villain and back again. About the “fanemies” who make sure she knows it when they misconstrue her Tweets and comments. About everyone who wants to claim that her career, including a scene-stealing turn in the TNT dark comedy Claws, are just byproducts of her relationship status.

It’s enough doublespeak to make even Buddhist monks lose their zen. But, at least on the day we met at a photo shoot, Tran is the antithesis of angry. Tiny and peppy, she is Tinker Bell in human form, fluttering about the stark white loft space that, coincidentally, is located a few blocks away from where she was raised in the mid-city of Los Angeles.

She’ll tell me later that this special brand of positivity came from a good deal of soul searching and “conversations with God” about “why have I been presented this platform? Why I am in the light?” before deciding to “use it as an opportunity to utilize my voice in the most genuine way possible.”

Tran is casually performing arabesques against a makeup chair and going over notes for the shoot when I arrive. She stops briefly to exchange greetings before she’s off to sprinkle her magical fairy dusts of energy onto someone else.

It is infectious. By the time she settles in at the styling station, she’s gossiping with her primpers while downing takeout sushi from Sugarfish, the rapidly growing chain that is now both ubiquitous with decent mid-priced Japanese food and a must-have stop for this local girl whenever she’s back in town.

Once Tran gets in front of the camera, she turns on the glam without taking herself too seriously. Sensual poses and hair tosses may end up in the final photographs, but what the stills can’t show are the goofy moments of self-mockery or the tiny booty dips and shimmies that happen in-between shots. After the shoot, she’ll bound back over with a huge smile, beaming, “Now you can really see me.” She’s right.

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