Resides In: London Height/Size: 5’9′ /Size 16 Online portfolio: olakemi.foliohd.com
Opening Image, Sodiq Photography
My favorite quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
What made you decide to become a plus size model?
Funnily enough I was actually a tomboy and being a plus model was something I never could imagine myself doing. Modeling sort of started about 3 years ago when I was scouted for a plus size modeling competition. But my modeling career actually started just over a year ago. That’s when I decided to really go for it!
Because I was a tomboy growing up, I wouldn’t say that I never embraced being curvier, but I was always aware that I was sometimes the bigger girl amongst others. I definitely had some insecurity, as all females do. I just gradually grew to be comfortable in my own skin. God made me this way! One thing I came to realize is that you must accept your flaws because no one can or should be able to use who you are against you.
And I realized becoming a plus model isn’t just for myself but to inspire other curvier girls to be comfortable with who they are and to be who they want to be.
Whom do you look to for curvy inspiration?
I think I get inspiration from all curvy females out there, from style to confidence, because they know how they carry themselves. The plus size model who first caught my eye and showed me that plus size can be big, bold and beautiful was Toccara Jones. I remember watching her on a cycle of America’s Next Top Model; I was in love. Here was a confident, strong, bubbly, beautiful woman showing bigger girls, like myself, that we can be models and work it. I loved her beauty, size and spirit. As a younger female still understanding my body, I really felt like I could relate to her.
What is the plus industry like in your hometown?
Here in London the plus industry is definitely growing. I think the U.K. is definitely inclusive of the term plus size (not as much as the U.S in my opinion). But it is definitely recognized now and I’m enjoying being a part of it.
Finish this sentence… The plus industry is:
The plus industry is growing and redefining what beauty is and it’s no longer limited but opening up to different sizes and backgrounds. It’s changing the misconception that plus size means unhealthy or ugly. Beauty truly comes in all shapes and sizes!
Who are your favorite plus designers, models, bloggers and/or celebrities?
My favorite plus size models are, of course, Ashley Graham and also Felicity Hayward. I love Dasha Polanco from Orange Is The New Black as well.
My favorite plus size designer is Monif C. because her clothes are absolutely fabulous. I feel her clothes define full-figured fashion, and help curvier women feel proud in what they’re wearing and in themselves.
Where do you see yourself in the next year?
The way I see it, life is a purposeful pursuit. I just want to continue doing curve modeling and make sure there is purpose behind it. I want to keep on moving to new heights and make a positive impact on other women. I will definitely continue pushing!