South African clothing franchise Woolworths, recently did an Autumn/Winter lingerie campaign that hit close to Glam Africa home, a campaign that shone a light on the positively shifting standards of body image and beauty. A campaign called #OwnYourFit.
If you are a real fan of GA, you know that our latest issue with cover star Lorna Maseko was all about taking the steps to acknowledge the aspects of women that were previously forgotten and hidden from mainstream media; the traits and characteristics of women that are not generally celebrated but are nevertheless beautiful. We went #BeyondBeauty and did a shoot with women who are proudly campaigning for all types of beauty (find on pages 21 to 27) and so did Woolworths. A group of women who are proud of their curvy shapes got together to boldly pose for the camera for a lingerie shoot.
So we HAD to sit down with the models; Asanda Maku, Marciel Hopkins, Tracey Lee Lusty and Tarryn Kay Trussell for a scoop on the campaign.
GLAM AFRICA: Woolworths recently launched their new lingerie campaign, #OwnYourFit that delves into self-appreciation and positive body imagery; a concept that we at Glam Africa explored in our #BeyondBeauty issue. What inspired you to get involved with the campaign?
Tracey Lee Lusty: When Woolworths asked me to be part of the #OwnYourFit campaign, it was a fundamental moment for me. One of the biggest influential retailers in the country was pushing for full body inclusivity. It means that, unlike when I grew up, there would now be full body representation for young girls to look up to. Being represented to be part of that change, feels amazing.
Asanda Maku: What inspired me to get involved with this amazing campaign is because I felt that as women we just get under so much pressure to get this Kim K body that is mostly manufactured. And it’s unnecessary pressure when we are all born differently, we all have different shapes, also our bodies change all the time. I got tired of having to fit this perfect mold that society has made us be a part of.
Tarryn Kay Trussell: I had just given birth to my beautiful baby boy and 2 months later I did the #OwnYourFit campaign. It was extremely liberating and empowering. At a time that I was grappling with my post-baby body, I needed a mental upliftment and reminder that I am beautiful and my body is extraordinary on multiple levels. Sharing this with all the women out there was very important to me, and that probably my greatest reason for getting involved.
GA: Tell us about that one day you decided to embrace your body and celebrate it.
Marciel Hopkins: In 2016, I lost 14kg in 4 months to enter the Miss South Africa beauty pageant. I maintained a very strict lifestyle for the duration of 11 months, but after the pageant ended, I knew it wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle for me. I worked out 2-3 hours a day during that time and I cut out all sugar, red meat and alcohol. 2 months after the pageant ended, I was back in my size 14 jeans and I started my career as a curve model with Ice Genetics. I booked my first job in Germany and as I was trying on jeans on set that day, the client excitedly exclaimed: “Oh wonderful! Your bum keeps the pants up.” This moment was magical, as I realized for the first time that my curves and my size 14 body is being celebrated by others.
Tracey Lee Lusty: After years of yo-yo dieting, hating my body, comparing myself to every single friend I have ever had, doing crash diets to get that crush to notice me, I decided to try something else. I decided to work on my body for ME and no one else. Through that process of self-love and self-discovery, I found the body positive movement.
Asanda Maku: This is crazy cause I never thought I’d be part of something like this. But I would say the day I decided to embrace my body was months after I had my daughter. It’s funny because before I got pregnant I’d say my body was in “great shape”, I guess I should have celebrated it cause I was very athletic and had a flat tummy. But after giving birth to Nia, I was covering up more, I wasn’t as comfortable anymore, I tried every diet, every workout plan but it was just not working out. But you know, my body gradually lost the baby fat but I still had the stretch marks, I still had the cellulite. And I thought “how long am I going to hide? I’m still young, I still love dressing sexy and looking good. So why hide that just cause my body has changed?” When I started celebrating this new body, that’s when I became more confident, less embarrassed. I loved each curve and each imperfection and loved it perfectly.
GA: We all have those bad days where we feel nothing fits, what is the one item in your closet that has never failed you?
Marciel Hopkins: My pajamas! 😉 On a bad day, I can’t wait to get out of my clothes and into my pajamas with a nice cup of tea.
Tracey Lee Lusty: Oooh haha! I have these incredible grey joggers from Trenery at Woolies. They are amazing because they are essentially “high fashion sweats” (haha!) that can be dressed up or down for any occasion. The cut is amazing and makes me look super curvy.
Tarryn Kay Trussell: Definitely tights… I’m tucked in, my curves are displayed and I feel in control!
Asanda Maku: Haha! The one thing that will never fail me has to be spanx! Sometimes when things don’t fit.. spank’ it up! And it’s crazy how you can feel bloated or it’s that time of the month it sucks everything in and things fit! Even celebrities do it! Cause we all have those bad days when you’ve gained a little or you feel bloated. And spanxs have never failed me
GA: Which of the Woolworths #OwnYourFit pieces are your favourite?
Marciel Hopkins: I love the new higher waist panty briefs! It sits so comfortably and it makes me feel confident with regards to the underwear that I am wearing.
Tracey Lee Lusty: I absolutely love the black seamless high waisted underwear. Its super tight and snug and holds in all the right places. It gives me a great silhouette under my high waisted jeans and cat-suits!
Tarryn Kay Trussell: Definitely the padded underwire bra. Perfect support, boost, comfort and I feel so sexy!
Asanda Maku: Honestly I loved every item from the campaign, simply because they are all so comfortable. I didn’t feel squeezed in or tight. The material is really good and soft, from the cotton to the satin pieces. And what I love is they support the fuller busts and for my bum and tummy cause certain panties really sucked me in! It felt like I wasn’t even wearing underwear. That’s how comfortable it was.
GA: You all look like you had fun shooting for the campaign, what was your favourite moment being on set?
Marciel Hopkins: I loved doing the video bit of the campaign where we talked about our own body journey. It is in this element of the campaign that we can truly make an impact on other women’s lives by sharing our own, real stories.
Tracey Lee Lusty: There was this one moment. I felt so comfortable in what I was wearing. I felt so comfortable in my own skin. Everything just felt right. The photographer looked up at me from behind his lens and gave me this congratulatory look. I knew in that moment that I had nailed it, and not just that specific look, but rather accepting my body just the way it is.
GA: There are many women struggling with low body image, what self-discovery/steps would you advise them to take to improve their self-esteem?
Marciel Hopkins: Do a proper social media clean up! As women, we don’t realize how many messages of not-being-good-enough are being communicated to us on a daily basis via social media. You are in control of what you see on your social media feeds, so be sure to make it uplifting and inspiring. It’s as simple as clicking on the unfollow button.
Tracey Lee Lusty: Stop comparing yourself to people on the internet. In fact, stop comparing yourself to ANYONE. You are fearlessly and wonderfully made. The day you start accepting your body for what it is and for what it can do for you, will be the day you will begin helping it function healthily and optimally.
Tarryn Kay Trussell: Do self-affirmations, remind yourself of your worth, your significance and your uniqueness. Celebrate your difference and embrace the fact that you are one of a kind.
Asanda Maku: I’d say to them that life is too short. People will always talk you know. When you thin they’ll say you too skinny when you bigger they also not shy to point it out. Embrace who you are, love every bit of you. Dress for your body. If you want to wear a sexy dress, the secret is to feel comfortable in it because when you not, they can tell. So it’s about making yourself happy first.
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