We want to tell the stories of women that reflect our brand values of:
Inclusivity, empowerment & body liberation.
Meet Kendra Austin
Writer, curve model and all around beautiful woman
Mimi Kini: We read your post about how you believe taking pictures of yourself is a healing experience. Why do you think taking pictures of yourself is important?
Kendra: In between Instagram media and Hollywood many of us have lived most of our lives without seeing somebody who truly looked like us. And I find that this lack of visibility is in fact the foundation for why so many people I know experienced body dysmorphia and dysphoria. I think that taking pictures of yourself can be a very healing experience because it's an incredibly intentional act in which you remove yourself from the reflection of other people, what they look like and what they want you to look like. And turning the lens on yourself and granting yourself that space and it is so beautiful.
Mimi Kini: How has your understanding of beauty evolved over time?
Kendra: As a woman of colour who has also existed in a visibly plus body my entire life with crazy curly hair I have rarely been associated with society's standard of beauty and I find that because of that I have been forced to recognise that beauty is not just one thing. It's a myriad of things. And most importantly it's not that important. I have never been valued for my beauty and I realise that I don't want to be. I want to be valued for how loving I am, how kind I am, and how generous I am.
Mimi Kini: What advice do you have for curve WOC babes who want to get into modelling?
Kendra: My advice for any woman of colour looking to enter the curve modeling space is to never try to find your sense of value and self-worth in the industry. You have to find it here [within yourself]. No casting director, booker or producer can ever reflect truly how important you are. The second thing is that being a model does not equal beauty and vice versa. Of course models are all very beautiful but there are many different kinds of beauty that exists outside of here and that's okay.
Mimi Kini: How do you feel about the word self-care, and what does that term mean and look like to you?
Kendra: While self care is often reduced to a bubble bath and face mask, which are two of the five pillars of my life, don't get me wrong. I think the most important aspect in the foundation of self care is surely in just honouring where you are respecting your personal boundaries. Saying no when you feel like saying no, saying yes when you feel like saying yes and feeling like none of that is bad or not OK. And I think self care is kind of just about having fun and having a laugh even when the world is telling you not to.
Mimi Kini: You’ve written before about ‘the persistent call deep in my soul to change the world’ which we found so beautiful. What do you think we can do to speak for those who do not feel empowered to do so?
Kendra: Right now creating the future that I want to live in includes being as joyful and colourful as I want to be and hoping that that existence grants somebody somewhere permission to do the same. And I think that great ally ship includes not speaking for others but granting the space for other people to speak for themselves. Give somebody permission to say what they need to say and be who they need to be. And that's incredibly powerful and is always enough.
If you want to follow Kendra's journey, make sure to follow her on insta