We caught up with the beautiful Lala Tshabalala who goes by the name Miss Curvy Lala. She is making waves in different platforms where she is making massive influence. She has left an unforgettable imprint in the plus size modeling industry, an industry she was not intentional on entering but has owned it like the boss she is. The self proclaimed motivational speaker carries who she is with pride and encourages other women to embrace and love themselves regardless of their body size. Let’s get into what this beauty opened up to share with us:
- Tell us how you were inspired to enter the modeling industry?
My first love has and is still motivational speaking, modeling sort of found me as I shared an Instagram video speaking on body love which was seen by an international fashion brand. They were starting out in South Africa and wanted me to be a part of their launch campaign. I then started getting bookings from there and the rest is history.
- How long have you been a model for?
My first campaign was back in 2016 which is pretty much when my career took off.
- Conventionally modeling was business for slim people. In your view and experience, has plus size modeling been fully embraced in the industry and by people generally?
It seems to have been embraced more in the United States than Africa, I do hope that we can surpass their standard as we have a lot of fuller figured women in Africa. We still have a long way to go but I believe we will get there.
- What are your dreams as a model, do you have brands you would like to work with or stages you see yourself on in your career journey?
I have not given that too my thought, I appreciate the opportunities that modeling has given me and would like to work with brands that align to my values and beliefs.
- What life lessons have you learnt from this industry?
For me the biggest lesson has been not being afraid to dream big and go for it. It still shocks me beyond belief to see how far I have come for someone who was not intent on being a model. The importance of taking a gamble to do things that are even way out of your comfort zone, I surprise myself all the time when I see the magnitude that my work has gained.
- Do you have a managing agency or are you working solo?
No, I do not have a modeling agency. That’s what surprises me seeing how far I have come on my own and how some managed models do not even gain that much traction. I am forever grateful.
- Do you have a health and fitness routine you keep to maintain your beautiful asset (your body), if so, can you share with us?
I have my highs and lows, there are times where I am very focused and some times where I fall off the wagon. I remind myself to make healthy decisions regardless of being a plus size model. I am currently aggressively working on being the best version of myself in as far as health and fitness is concerned.
- Apart from your modeling career, we have seen how you are invested in other work, tell us a bit about your other hustles and how you get the balance for production?
I have opened my online clothing store, a project I am very involved in. I design the pieces, select the fabrics and work closely with my seamstresses. I have a couple more projects some of which are still confidential. I want to do more charity work and continue with my “baby girl needs brunch” which is a women empowerment initiative that creates a safe space for women to engage. Some of the initiatives have been deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic but are in the pipeline.
- Who are your inspirations locally and internationally?
I am inspired by women who put themselves out there and just go for it. People who work hard for their dreams and overcoming fear to go for what they want. Women stepping into their truth and purpose really inspire me.
- What advice would you have for any upcoming models?
You have to be committed and put yourself out there. You will get rejected and should be able to handle it. Be passionate and willing to put in the work. Also, it is important to not make modeling your only hustle, get other hustles as the modeling pay is not what you would expect it to be.
- What has been your memorable show to date?
The Lagos Fashion Week is the most memorable show, which is the biggest fashion show in Africa. I felt so loved and taken care of, and the atmosphere even off the runway was a celebratory one of people relating over the same thing which was fashion.
- We love your energy and how you are not afraid to express yourself. What is your daily inspiration?
Knowing that I have so much more to accomplish keeps me inspired and seeing other women pushing hard for their dreams just keeps me fired up.