Q: What makes you love yourself?
My creative energy, my ability to love, my sense of wonder and humour and
my emotional and physical strength.
Q: What does love mean to you?
If my life had to be condensed into a single word it would be LOVE . It’s my purpose and the reason for my existence.
Q: How was your experience shooting for GG?
Absolutely wonderful! It was warm, it was fun, it was free flowing high energy , it was crazy it was hilarious , it was powerful, all at the same time .
Q: How did you feel wearing these outfits?
To be honest, there were many firsts for me. I never wear sleeveless and all my outfits were sans sleeves, so I had to brave that one but I tried not to pay attention to it. I’ve also never worn or owned a gown, so that was a first as well. They were all very comfortable and easy to hang out in besides being beautiful and fantasy like. They felt great on my body.
Q : You managed to channelize your identity in your field of work gracefully. Was it difficult or were you able to initiate that process smoothly? Was the industry accepting?
It was a very effortless and natural process for me . I am very true to who I am. Everything I do is a true representation of my personality, there’s no pretence there and hence there’s consistency in everything. The industry has not only been accepting but extremely supportive, encouraging and loving. I have been a part of it for 13 years now. I was only 20 when I started working in fashion and I am still having the time of my life. It has shaped who I am today.
Q: Growing up, did you face any challenges? Did you face any kind of discrimination/unsolicited comments?
Oh yes! All the time. From relatives telling me no one will marry me if I don’t lose weight to class mates and friends calling me motu and mots. To boys talking behind my back and saying things like, “I would date her, if she lost weight!” and the worst part is, I was half my
size back then. But I was never skinny enough to be worthy of ‘being loved’ according to a lot of people. I was always the beautiful face, intelligent, great personality, successful, independent, happy, ‘BUT’ a fat girl.
Q: Did you experience body image issues growing up due to the conventional and unrealistic beauty standards upheld by the media?
I was super confident and very comfortable in my skin and it was still tough for me, so I can’t imagine how hard it must be for girls who were not so confident to begin with! That was also the Paris Hilton and Mischa Barton era where being skinny was considered hot/sexy and god forbid if you had curves like a Kardashian, it was simply embarrassing. Today, I am glad that we have icons like Lizzo and Ashley Graham. Of course the media has a big role to play but who is the media ? It’s people at the end of the day. If princess Diana can be Bulimic, I’m just a mere mortal. So of course I had some issues, thankfully, I had the most amazing parents that kept me strong and unaffected for most part.
Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I think I’m inspired by all the women in my life constantly. From my mother to grandmother and aunts, friends, cousins and colleagues . They are all such strong, beautiful intelligent and compassionate women. Being surrounded by that kind of feminine energy can be very powerful.
Q: What motivated you to choose this line of work? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t think I chose it. It chose me. I don’t even know how it happened ?! It just did and 12 years later, here I am! In 2010 I didn’t see myself living this 2020 life. Good thing is I’m not much of a planner. Spontaneity is more my style. I like to live in the now and embrace each day as it arrives.
Q: Do you have a message or a piece of advice for young girls who might still feel insecure about the way they look/bodies?
I would say work out and eat clean because it feels good and keeps your mind and gut healthy. Don’t do it because you want to look like that girl on your Insta feed. And don’t lose sleep over boys, they’re not worth it. By the time you realise that, you’ll probably have dark circles so save yourself the trouble now!