Nerd No More: Wando High Alum has Brains, Beauty and Brawn

May 27, 2015

From Geek to Sleek: Sh’Nere Deas Competes May 30 in National Bodybuilding Competition at North Charleston Performing Arts Center

Sh’Nere Mattise Deas, Wando High School “band geek” and honor roll graduate (’04), returns home to compete in the N.P.C. Junior USA Bodybuilding Championships, Saturday, May 30, at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. Prejudging begins at 8 a.m. ($30); finals start at 6 p.m. (tickets start at $50).

Deas’ category is Women’s Figure. The current Virginia Beach, VA resident, graphic designer, and University of Miami grad (B.F.A.’08) will be judged on a set of criteria, including defined muscle tone and a healthy appearance. A trophy would be nice, but the 28-year-old’s goal is an IFBB Pro Card, granting her professional status in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness.

The same intelligence and dedication that Deas employed as a student—perfect attendance for 14 years from preschool through graduation (Jennie Moore Elementary, Laing Middle, Wando High), among other achievements—came into play during her preparation for Saturday night’s championships.

She stuck to a regimented meal plan, studied the world of competitive bodybuilding, and worked out—a lot. In only 12 months of training, Deas’ transformation has brought her trophies, industry buzz and personal growth. She’s excited to come home to the city she loves and be a positive inspiration for others.

“I want to show people, especially young minority women, that it’s okay to be different. To not fit some mold or someone else’s expectations,” Deas says. “It’s okay to be smart or be in band—just because the kids in your neighborhood don’t enjoy reading books or don’t want to do academically challenging things, doesn’t mean that you should shy away from it.

“And it’s okay to try new things, to find something that makes you happy and embraces who it is you are, and who it is you want to be, regardless of what the people around you think you should be,” says Deas.

As soon as the competition ends, Deas will celebrate with two things she’s been dreaming about for months: a serving of Gilligan’s hush puppies, and homemade shrimp and grits, made fresh and piping hot by Nathaniel Nelson of Awendaw, Deas’ grandfather.