Afiya Bennett: Snaga žene

Total look Chanel 

Sa supermodelom Afiya-om Bennett, zvezdom naše Aprilske digitalne naslovnice, razgovarali smo o sopstvenom putu ka uspehu, body positivity-ju, majčinstvu i budućim planovima.

Da li mislite da modna industrija zaista postaje sveobuhvatnija ili je u pitanju prolayna faza aktivizma koji obuhvata više polja delovanja?

Modna industrija se godinama kreće u pravcu inkluzivnosti, ali verujem da su i pokreti “Me too” i “The Black Lives Matter” učinili to vidljivijim. Raznovrnost i body positivity na pistama i u reklamama već dugo je prisutna. Međutim i ako je modna industrija mnogo napredovala, često se čini da postoji jaz između mršavih modela i plus size modela. Uz uticaj društvenih medija, jedini izuzeci su poznate ličnosti na pisti.

Total look Dior

Mislite li da u današnjoj modnoj industriji i dalje postoji termin supermodel?

Termin supermodel je nastao 90 tih i tada su isti modeli radili sve revije. Današnji supermodeli izgledaju i osećaju se drugačije nego što je to bio slučaj u prošlosti, i u tome je lepota. Smatram da današnje devojke imaju više prilka da se pokažu i budu viđene.

Kako su društveni mediji uticali na vrste poslova koji su vam dati?

Društveni mediji su mi otvorili mnoga vrata. Mogu da kažem da nisam samo model, već i uticajna osoba koja se bavi modom i lepotom, pr i voditeljka podcast-a, preduzetnica i dizajnerka, filantrop, supruga i majka. To je značajno promenilo modnu industriju. Brendovi sada dobijaju prostor u medijima na osnovu modela kog su angažovali. Društveni mediji su postali spona između vaših angažmana i privatnog života.

Total look Dior

Koju poruku šaljete putem društvenih medija?

Volela bih da moji pratioci budu inspirisani mojom pričom i mojim prisustvom na bilo kojoj od društvenih platformi. Volela bih da se osećaju osnaženo, da im pružim osećaj da zaista mogu da osvoje bilo koji od svojih snova. Volela bih da se osećaju inspirisano da ostvare svaku priliku koja im nije data.

Koje prilike vas u ovoj godini raduju?

Raduje me što ću ulepšati nove naslovnice, lansirati svoju prvu sezonu linije odeće, takođe ću pokrenuti i svoj novi podcast i nastaviti da budem sjajna majka. Moj cilj svake godine je rast i napredak, ako to mogu da nastavim da radim u svakoj oblasti svog života onda se osećam ostvareno i blagosloveno.

Kako je majčinstvo uticalo na vašu karijeru?

Majčinstvo mi je dalo veću svrhu i dalo mi je snagu u želji da ostvarim svoje ciljeve. Sada kada imam sina, moje nasleđe nije samo moj rad, već i ono što mogu da prenesem na njega. Želela bih da prenesem blagostanje, znanje i ljubav. Svakoga dana kada ustanem sa željom i snagom da ostvarim svoj san, shvatam da se ne radi više samo o meni već i o njemu.

Prsten, minđuše i ogrlica Jacob & Co
Top DSquared

Šta biste rekli da vam je najteže prilikom usklađivanja poslovnih i privatnih obaveza?

Neki od mojih najvećih izazova uključuju upravljanje vremenom, spavanje i prihvatanje svog tela i pozitivan pogled na sve promene koje se na njemu dešavaju. Naravno imati sina je moj najveći uspeh. Učim da poštujem svoje telo jer je doneo život na ovaj svet i prihvatio svoju novu verziju sebe.

Koji savet biste dali onima koji se ugledaju na vas?

Savet koji bih dala početnicima glasi “dovoljno ste dobri takvi kakvi jeste”. Društveni mediji stalno izazivaju osećaj neadekvatnosti. Često nam je potrebna afirmacija “ Ja sam vredan, radim sjajan posao i moje vreme tek dolazi”. To je samo vaše!

Kakvu ulogu u tvom svakodnevnom životu igra ljubav prema sebi i prihvatanju tela baš takvim kakvo jeste?

Ljubav prema sebi nikada nije kraj putovanja pogotovo što se stalno razvijam kao ličnost. Naučila sam da volim sebe i svoje telo na svakom koraku. Naučila sam da prihvatim svoje telo, svoj um i dušu dok se razvijaju i menjaju iz dana u dan. Takođe, naučila sam da se nosim sa društvenim pritiscima kojima sam podložna.

Total look Chanel 

Šta vas čini srećnom?

Najsrećnijom me čini kada napredujem ka svojim ciljevima, kada napredujem finansijski duhovno i mentalno, i kada sam u društvu svojih najmilijih.

English here:

Do you think the fashion industry is truly becoming more inclusive or is this just a fadd?

The Fashion Industry has been moving in a direction of inclusivity for years, however I do believe that the “Me too” Movement and “The Black Lives Matter” Movement enhanced the demand. The desire for diversity and body positivity on the runway and in advertising has been long time coming. However, although the fashion industry has made a lot of progress often times it feels as if there is a gap between stick thin models and plus size. With the influence of social media, the only exceptions tends to be celebrities on the runway.

Kožni trenč Ferragamo
Kaiš Bronx and Baanco
Čizme Sebastian Milano
Prsten Dior
Minđiše Jacob&Co

Do you think the fashion industry still honors the world “Supermodel”?

I think the term “Supermodel” was one that originated in the early 90’s where the same models did almost everything. Although our modern day Supermodel may look and feel different than it has in the past, there is a beauty in that. There is now room for a girl who would have been over looked and under booked to now have room to be seen.

How has social media influenced the types of jobs that are given to you?

Social media opened so many doors for me. I can market that I am not only a Model but a Fashion and Beauty influencer, a Spokes person and a Podcast host, an Entrepreneur and Designer, a Philanthropist, a wife, and a mother. The has changed the fashion industry tremendously. Brands now receive marketing and advertising based on the model that they book for a job. Your social media has literally been a medium between your resume and your personal life.

What message would you like to be shared when people look at your social media?

I would like viewers to be inspired by my story and my presence on any of my social media platforms. I would like them to feel empowered, like they can conquer any of their dreams. I would like them to feel inspired to create any opportunity that is not handed to them.

Kožni trenč Ferragamo
Kaiš Bronx and Baanco
Čizme Sebastian Milano
Prsten Dior
Minđiše Jacob&Co

What types of opportunities are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to gracing new covers, launching my first season of my clothing line, as well as launching my new podcast and continuing to be an awesome mother. My goal each year is growth and progress, if I can continue to do that in each area of my life, then I feel accomplished and blessed.

How has motherhood affected your outlook on your work in the fashion industry and in life?

Motherhood has given me a greater purpose and direction for what I am trying to accomplish. Now that I have a son, my legacy is not only my body of work but what I can pass down to him. I would like to pass down wealth, opportunity, knowledge, and Love. Each day that I get up and chase my dream it is no longer just about me now, it’s about him.

What would you say is your greatest obstacle now that your juggling your aspirations and motherhood?

Some of my biggest challenges include time management, sleep, and embracing my body and having a positive out look on all the changes that my body has gone through from birth until now. Hands down, having a son is my biggest accomplishment. I am learning to honor my body for bringing life into this world and embracing this new version of self.

Haljina i cipele Balmain
Čarape Wolford
Prsten i minđuše Saks Fifth Ave

What piece of advice would you give those that look up to you and to your younger self?

A piece of advice that I would give my younger is  that “you are good enough just the way you are”. Social media constantly brings forth a feeling of inadequacy. More often times than not we just need that affirmation that, “ I am worthy, I am doing an amazing job, my time is coming, keep going! it’s yours!”

What role does self love and embracing your body play in your everyday life?                                                   

Self love is never ending journey, especially as I am constantly evolving as a person . I have learned to love my self and my body every step of the way. I have learned to embrace my mind, body, and soul as it evolves and changes from day to day. I have also learned to give myself grace with the societal pressures that are put on me.

When are your happiest?

I am the most happiest when I am making progress towards my goals, prospering financially, spiritually and mentally, and happy with my loved ones.

Team credits:

Model: Afiya Bennett @afiyabennett
Photographer: Ace Amir @spadestudios2
Stylist: Arnold Milfort @arnoldmilfort
Hair: Hos Hounkpatin @hoshounkpatin
Makeup: Christyna Kay @christynakey
Producer: Llod Dickenson @lloyddickenson

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