As part of our Keep On Being You series, we caught up with social media influencer and plus size model with albinism @joannedion_ about being confident #inyourownskin, the best advice she’s ever been given and how to live authentically as yourself. Check out her story below.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name’s Joanne and I’m 21 today! I go to uni and study accounting as well as doing plus size modelling.
What made you want to take part in the shoot today?
Misguided is one of my favourite brands and I love that you guys are becoming more inclusive and spreading a message of self-awareness and positivity.
What does body positivity mean to you?
It means loving every single thing about yourself, and not only loving but understanding it. We spend so much time trying to be perfect but it’s very important to just look at where you are from where you once were and see the positives in that.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I’d say my mum! She’s amazing and a very strong woman. She’s dope! Very opinionated, always wants to me to happy and hasn’t struggled with the fact that I want to pursue modelling.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty means more than just the outside appearance, it’s not just what’s inside you but what you bring out to the world. Beauty is the way you carry yourself and what you want for yourself in the future. We spend so much time trying to define and depict what beauty is, but the simple fact of you living your life is beautiful.
Do you have a life mantra?
My role in life is not to be ‘accepted by society’ I really don’t care about that. I live fearlessly and I am unapologetically me.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
It means crying with your girls when they’re having a bad time, it’s being real and supportive and knowing that Instagram isn’t always real! It’s being loving, caring and showing all women gratitude.
What advice would you say to your younger self?
Just don’t think about it too hard and never harm yourself because you’re too special for this world to lose.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My dad said to me ‘what God loves, the world often tends to hate’. So don’t spend too much time trying to make people accept you, the harsh reality is that people won’t accept you but understand that you’re precious to be loved by someone so great.
What album are you loving right now / what’s on your current playlist?
Who’s your ultimate style icon?
Rita Ora. She’s more on par with who I am as a person, sportswear with a bit of elegance.
What outfit would you wear for the rest of your life?
A turtleneck and good jeans.
What do you think the fashion industry could do more of to empower women?
Normalising things, I understand there’s an outcry for more diversity and inclusivity but especially in the plus size modelling, I don’t think many people do editorial shoots or things like that. I think it’s not even just the fashion industry because where we’ve to go to now is because of the models that said ’no, I’m going to do this’. I want to break moulds and I don’t just want to just be a catalogue model. That’s what I want to see, no boundaries.
What is one thing you’re most proud of?
My ability to be positive. Now it’s my ability to overcome anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Who should we be following on Instagram right now?
Hannah Faith. She’s a DJ and a photographer, she’s amazing and she’s part of the selection collective. I think especially with Instagram and in a world where you always have to put out content, I appreciate her because I see her following and it might not be as much as everyone else’s but she stays true to her work and takes time. No one really takes time nowadays, everyone rushes out content, which is fine! But taking time sometimes and putting meaning into your work is everything.
What are you working on for 2018?
Getting that modelling thing on point! I might bring out a product or two…