Monday, 11 January 2021

ON CREATIVITY, BODY SHAMING, FASHION & PERSONAL STYLE - AN INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDRA OBOCHI

 

Plus size fashion



Hi, please introduce yourself 


My name is Alexandra Obochi My friends call me Alex or Xandra or pretty much any of the variations they like. I recently graduated from the University of Benin with a bachelor's degree in international studies and diplomacy and I'm currently awaiting NYSC call up. I am a professional makeup artist, a content creator and aspiring creative director. I'm also a curve model, basically what you would call a plus-size model. I am the convener of fashion and curve, a plus size fashion show that had its debut in the city of Benin in 2019. Hopefully, we'll see a 2nd edition soon. I love everything fashion and my style is alte, retro and vintage. 


plus size model cover girl


Have you ever struggled with low self-esteem and at what point did you become very confident in your skin


I've never exactly struggled with low self-esteem for a long period. There have been times in my life however that I've let myself be down on confidence because of what people or family said to me concerning my weight. But ultimately I'm a very confident person so I eventually get back up or come up with ways to do so.



Have you ever been body shamed, how do you handle body shamers both online and offline? 


Lol, the answer to this is a big and resounding YES! All my life I've been body-shamed, from family members to relatives who feel the need to give their opinion even when not asked, down to classmates, friends and even partners in relationships.  Been fat automatically means you're a bit different from others and people will never learn how to accept different.


When handling body Shamers I always put them in their place, I've worked hard on my self-confidence and I don't need anyone to come tearing it down. I've recently been trying to put out more body-positive contents on social media and there's a little backlash especially on Twitter. A lot of times I ignore or block or respond very harshly to these body shamers, they listen to no other thing. Offline however I respond always. It is my life and body so I see no reason why anyone should have an opinion about it. 



bikini for big girls

say no to body shaming


...fuck society's expectations of what we should be or look like. Self-love is hard but it's the most rewarding thing ever. Never be ashamed of how you look...


You are a very experimental makeup artist, you play with colours and create amazing looks. Where did this inspiration to be bold and fearless with your art come from?


Thank you for the compliment. I love colours and love to create looks. The truth is I love being an artist and I have an incredible passion for it. The art of transforming myself or a client is incredibly rewarding to me and I've always loved to see how far I could take it while still looking amazing. I get inspired a lot of times by just thinking of creating or putting ideas together in my head. Other times I'm inspired but amazing artists in my niche and field. 


cover girl make up

make up artist


Been fat automatically means you're a bit different from others and people will never learn how to accept different.

Have you ever had people tell you that you are doing too much, that you should probably tone it down a bit, if yes, how did you handle such opinion?


I've never had such an opinion and if I ever do, you'll see me doing more instead of less. Can't ever let people bring me down and that's on period.


plus sized women

fashion Icon


I love being an artist and I have an incredible passion for it. The art of transforming myself or a client is incredibly rewarding to me

You are a fashion Icon in my opinion, so how long does it take you to style yourself and what do you have to say to people who think plus-sized women should only wear certain types of clothing or outfits 


I'm not a fashion Icon yet, but I like to think I'm on my way. Styling is pretty easy for me once I've paired up the outfits in my head, I always do the pairing before testing. 


To people who think plus-sized women should only wear certain outfits. I think that's rubbish and to my beautiful plus sized gals please wear what you wanna wear, if it's cropped top wear it hunnay! If it is a body con dress wear it and own your curves, own your FUPA, own those rolls baby and love yourself.


own your FUPA

blazer jackets for women


On your Instagram page, you combine patterns and prints and it's very artistic, what does being an African woman mean to you?


Being an African woman is so exhilarating to me. Wearing Patterns and prints brings out the best in me and reminds me that my skin is gold and my ancestry is full of African kings and Queens. I'm so proud to be African and Nigerian at that. And being proud of my culture leads to me imbibe every aspect of my life with culture. 


African prints

african woman



Ankara jacket
Ankara blazer for plus sized women


You have a reasonable following on social media. Do you ever feel pressured to perform or fit into a certain Aesthetic, do you think this idea of perfection in the creative space is harmful?


While I do feel pressured to always put out content, the pressure comes from within myself as I love to push myself to be consistent in anything I do. I feel I have created my aesthetic through my style and creativity and I'm super proud of that. And no, I never feel pressured to fit into a certain aesthetic because I have tried all my possible best to create my aesthetic and make it a lifestyle. So it's not that hard to do especially when you get  used it 


I think perfection is overrated. Nobody is perfect. Even on Instagram. And the idea of it is harmful. To an extent even I have experienced the bad side of thinking you can be perfect on Instagram. Through pressuring myself to try and be like other people or wear what they wear or do what they do. It didn't help me in any way and I had to learn to curb that need to be perfect or create perfect content like some influencer we see.  


curvy model

When handling body Shamers I always put them in their place, I've worked hard on my self-confidence and I don't need anyone to come tearing it down.

Have influencers, celebrities or Instagram models ever caused you to think about your body image and was it negatively or positively?


Like I said it's very easy to be affected and think negatively about yourself especially when everyone around you seems to be close to perfect. However, I learnt to not compare myself to people I see on the gram. And to love me a little more every time I feel pressured to be like someone else. 


I find your younger brother very cool and handsome. Do you style him too and how important is it to educate children on body image and self-confidence.


Thank you so much. Yes, I style most of his outfits, he manages to pull them off with his insane charisma and model poses. 

I wish someone has taken the time to educate me on body confidence when I was little. Knowing that there's nothing wrong with our bodies and with how we looked at that age would have been freeing. I think it's very important to educate children so that they'd know early on how important it is to love their bodies and selves. 


fashion for kids

face art for kids

cool kid on the telephone

kid celebrities

coolest kid on the block

locations for childrens photoshoot


I think perfection is overrated. Nobody is perfect. Even on Instagram. And the idea of it is harmful.

Overall how has your creative journey been and is it slightly more difficult for plus-sized women in the creative industry?


Overall, my creative journey has been insane. At least that's the one thing I can fully say I achieved last year. It's been amazing and even looking through my Instagram page you can clearly see growth. 

I believe it is a bit difficult for plus-sized women. Sometimes getting people's attention is hard, and even more painful is when a normal-sized person does the same thing or less of what you did, people flock the content. That is really discouraging.


plus sized women in the creative industry

street style

rainbow background photography

holiday vibes

chilling in an eatery

I feel I have created my aesthetic through my style and creativity and I'm super proud of that. I never feel pressured to fit into a certain aesthetic

Any advice for women, especially young girls who are ashamed of the way they look and find it hard to accept themselves because of society? 


Girlllll. The one thing I have learnt this year is to fuck society's expectations of what we should be or look like. Make sure your own opinion comes first. Make sure you are your top priority and not what people think of you. Self-love is hard but it's the most rewarding thing ever. Never be ashamed of how you look especially if its something as normal as saggy boobs or stretch marks or even back rolls. Those are incredibly normal and you should never feel bad about having them on your body. 


live, love and breathe

plus sized women


What do you do for fun, give us three random facts about you?


I love to read Manga, Romance, fiction, play music, dance and have fun family time. 

Random facts about me; I hate honey, I'm insanely curious and I cry for every movie. Doesn't matter the genre I will cry. Even if the ending is happy or sad or scary!



Thank you for doing this! 



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