Real Talk: Defining Body Positivity with Alessandra Garcia-Lorido
Today, the conventional standards of beauty are being challenged and broken down. Every color, shape and size is becoming more and more accepted everyday - and we love it! Foxxtales sat down with model, Alessandra Garcia-Lorido to discuss her experience being plus size in a sometimes critical industry and how she learned to accept and love all her curves.
Foxxtales: When you were younger, did you ever experience negative self-talk about your shape or your size? Or have you always been confident and body positive?
AGL: Navigating your body when you’re young is very complicated because it’s constantly changing. That was something I definitely struggled with. However, even though I knew I was bigger than the girls around me, I never wanted to call myself fat. To me, it was plagued with such a negative connotation that I never said it about myself, or anyone else for that matter. Even at a young age, I never wanted to talk about myself in such negative terms. I knew I was worth more than that. I looked at myself as different and tried to celebrate that as much as possible.
Foxxtales: What advice would you give to young girls or young women dealing with self acceptance and body image issues?
AGL: I would say that, in order to accept yourself, you really need to get to know yourself. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't do this in high school. I put others' needs before my own and I didn't take the time to really come into myself until my early twenties. Full self-acceptance didn't come to me until I looked at my body as a fact, rather then a negative or positive. Step one for me was saying to myself, “I'm a big girl and there is nothing wrong with that." From there, I could work on enhancing who I am and focus on being my most positive self.
Foxxtales: How have you seen the modeling industry change over the years, in regards to accepting more sizes, shapes and colors?
AGL: [There is] more inclusivity in magazines, campaigns, runway, really every facet of the industry has been more accepting of diversity, its a really exciting time!
Foxxtales: In what areas would you like to see the modeling industry continue to grow, in terms of being a more inclusive industry?
[There could be more growth in] high fashion! We need more diversity on the runway and in high fashion campaigns.
Foxxtales: Were there ever any moments of doubt for you in your career? If so, how did overcome them?
AGL: Absolutely, I signed with a new agency a couple years ago and my work really slowed down. [I learned that] transitioning into a new place can be rough sometimes. But I stuck with it and, after a year of adjusting, it finally picked up. I had to remind myself that timing is everything and that my success would come if I just continued to push forward, do my job and believe in myself.
Foxxtales: Can you detail your journey into the modeling industry? What has been some of the most defining moments in your career?
AGL: Modeling came to me when I was scouted at 18. But, at the time, I was more interested in going to college than working. Two years later, I revisited it and worked part time until I finished school. Some of my most defining moments have been shooting for Vogue Italia, the Lane Bryant and Marina Rinaldi and Wet ’n’ Wild Campaigns, walking in Christian Siriano’s show at New York Fashion Week, and working with Dolce and Gabbana.
Foxxtales: In your owns words, what does it mean to be “body positive”?
AGL: It means to celebrate all body types, promote health and self-love - instead of the idea that you have to fit into an unrealistic “ideal."