‘Since the fashion industry embraced plus-size models, it has boost their confidence’
Adekunbi Kuye is a Plus-Size Model, influencer, TV producer and serial media Entrepreneur. She also co-founded private media management, Xtrapm in charge of content creation, documentaries and media productions. Having grown from the print media, she delved into the broadcast media where she hosted the Fashion scoops segment on Escoops on African Independent Television (AIT) a morning belt show called Kaakaki the African Voice. She also served as an associate producer for Moments Nigeria, ElNow, MomentsZ and The Boot which are programmes on Ebony Life TV. Being the brand-influencer at the first-ever Plus Size Fashion Week West Africa (PFWA) held in 2017, Kuye shares her passion for plus-sized women and how she is inspiring them to accept their bodies.
As a media guru what endeared you to plus-size modelling?
As a young fat child, building self-confidence was a tough one for me amidst my peers, so I was determined to love my body regardless of the bullying I got from school. I was always called Orobo, Fatty bumbum etc. It never gave me the saddest face because when I get home my grandma would always show me, love. I remember one time while I was around 14 years old, a neighbour’s daughter who was also my classmate would tease me with her friends and call me all sorts of names even in class. So one day my grandma and my mum called everyone to the house and made them apologise to me. This singular act increased my self-esteem and made me bolder and it is evident in the way I talk, carry myself and work.
There are a lot of women who don’t feel secure about their bodies being plus-sized, what is your take?
One issue is self-esteem; a lot of plus size ladies have lost our self-esteem because of the pressure of the society or our environment. Building on your self-esteem can help you appreciate and value yourself more. For me, I carry myself with love.
To be honest, the first key step to feeling secure in your body is to love yourself and know your body structure. Being in love with oneself is a key ingredient in accepting who you are and who you have become. If you love your body, you begin to take care of your physical and mental appearance. Once you radiate beauty inside it shows on the outside. Also, know your body structure to dress according to your shape; pear-shaped, rectangular-shaped can wear the same style. You need to dress according to your shape to be very flattering to your body. As a person, I fill my social media timeline with other plus-size models and influencers whose style I can emulate and follow, probably copy one or two style inspirations from.
Plus sized modelling became a thing a few years ago, how has this further built confidence in women?
I was a brand influencer for Plussize Fashion Week, two years in a row. I remember the first time in 2017 when the campaign shoot came out, I received a lot of messages from young girls narrating their struggles to me about their body weight and size, most especially on what to wear. This movement has helped young people become aware of their bodies. It has helped boost confidence, knowing that they are not alone. The fashion industry has embraced the plus-size industry, we even have runway shows now and designers who exclusively cater to the plus-size community like Makioba, Yangomango etc.
Now, people know where to shop and buy stuff in Nigeria for their size.
What new project(s) are you working on?
I am working on a give-back initiative for secondary school students to educate them on their bodies. We will also have a live talk session from favourite plus size celebrities as well as health and fashion, Tips and tricks. This initiative was thought through with my very good friend Fanti Tukwei as a way of educating young girls on self- confidence and loving your body. We are at the stage of seeking sponsorship, The event is slated to happen in the last quarter of the year.
With the trend, do you think more women appreciate being plus-sized?
Since the Plus Size Campaign has hit the social media space, a lot of people have been coming out to appreciate their bodies better, a few of these campaigns are getting brands backing in the industry. Even brands are supporting the move by sponsoring plus-size influencers with their products and paying for services. Also, a lot of fashion runways are getting demands for plus-size models, such as LFDW, Heineken Fashion Week, etc
What is your style and beauty secrets?
My style is very simple, my everyday wear is a T-shirt and jeans. My go-to wear is chic and simple makeup with sophisticated earrings and a statement piece necklace. My red carpet glam is very chic and simply sophisticated. My beauty secret, I love using locally made black soap on my skin. Shea butter during the hot season and oils for the dry season. I’m more particular about detoxing and exfoliating, it gives a clear skin and most importantly drinking water and fresh juice.