#1 Congratulations! You are a finalist for #TNEI2016 How do you feel?
Wow! Just wow! That's my initial reaction. When I learned that I’m one of the finalists, at first I really can’t believe that it’s true. I have read the email several times before it finally sinked in. I feel like I’m floating... I just can’t contain my happiness!
It was May 1st, Sunday night, I just woke up. It’s just an ordinary rest day for me. I checked my social media accounts, started with Facebook. Saw that Erzullie posted that they sent out invites to the finalists.
I was actually hesitant to check my email at first. Later on, I have finally decided to check it. I’m not expecting anything actually, but of course, there's a small voice inside of me hoping. Then, I saw the email. I was like, “No waaaaay!!! Is this serious?? I really can’t believe it.”
I read the email several times, I really want to make sure that it’s really an invite I received. Then it finally sinked in... I almost cried, I can’t explain what I felt. It’s so surreal!
I never expected that I’ll get picked. Yes, I’m really hoping and praying so hard for this but at the back of my mind, I thought that there were a lot of girls who joined that are more experienced that I am. They were more exposed in plus size modeling compared to me who's just considered as a newbie.
Well, I never doubted myself anyway, because I know I did my best. I never expected but the hope was always there.
#2 What do you think of this batch of finalists for #TNEI2016? Why so?
It's given that every year; finalists of TNEI are group of awesome, fierce and gorgeous ladies. I think what's different on this year's batch is, somehow, we are more determined to be an icon. We are so passionate and more engaged. On this batch, we have finalists who joined several times already. That proves that being an icon is really a big deal.
#3 Do you think you deserve to be part of the Top 3? Why or why not?
Of course yes!
I know that I did my best during the go-see. I’m very passionate about this. I’m very much willing to learn. I may be new to this industry and I still need to work on a lot of things, but I know I have what it takes.
If I were to become an Erzullie icon, definitely I'll pursue my modeling career. I will engage myself to workshops as well to enhance my skills. I will continuously improve myself in all aspect. I'll make sure to exceed expectations.
I know that if I become an Icon, doors will open for more opportunities and I'd be very much willing to accept it.
#4 How was the go-see for you? Why so?
The go-see was soooo nerve wrecking!
It was my first ever go-see. At first I really don’t know what to do, because I have limited knowledge of a go-see. I was really nervous back then. I was just lucky to have plus size models and I needed to ask them for some tips that really helped me a lot.
During our batch, we were just two back then actually. To be honest, I really thought she will get picked. During the go-see all I have in mind is that, it’s so Exciting, a bit Scary and very Nerve Cracking. Exciting, because since this is new to me, I don’t know what to expect. I always look forward to what's next. A bit scary, because I'm afraid to mess up. And of course it’s very nerve-cracking; I just can’t explain the feeling.
Going through a plus size model go-see, for me, is liberating. I got to try something new, something that I've always wanted to do. I was able to expand my horizons, get out of my comfort zone. It made me feel good of myself. It really boosts my confidence.
#5 Why did you apply as an Erzullie Icon?
I always wanted to be an Erzullie Icon. I can consider this as one of my greatest dreams actually. Every time I see the icons, I can’t help but be amazed. There's something in them that will make you feel inspired. I want to have that effect on others too. I want to inspire a lot of aspiring plus size models and I really believe being an icon would really help me on this.
If I were to be an Erzullie icon, my advocacy would be, "live the dream". I will show everyone that nothing should hinder someone in reaching their greatest dreams in life. I’m a living proof of this advocacy. I've always wanted to be model, people may have put me down and made me feel that I can’t make it but that didn’t stop me in pursuing what I want. Nothing is impossible; if you really want something, push for it!
My actions will speak for it. If in case the results here will not be in my favor, I will never stop.
I will keep on trying until I get there. Someday, people will know my story, and they will be inspired.
#6 What’s your journey as a plus size woman? Briefly state.
Having this body type was never easy at all. I’m eating criticisms for breakfast. I would always have unsolicited comments about my weight/size. Growing up, I learned the art of "dedma" and mastered joking about everything. Making fun of myself has become my defense mechanism.
Then there was this point in my life when I realized that for me to be genuinely happy I have to accept me as me. I learned how to appreciate my curves, and love myself more. Now, I feel more comfortable with my body and I love every inch of it.
I guess it was just almost 2 years ago when I learned about Erzullie. I became a part of an fb group for chubby peeps. In that group, I got to meet some plus size models and they introduced me the brand.
Then one time, I tried to check the website. And guess what, I fell in love. When I first saw Erzullie's website, my initial reaction was "Wow!” I was so amazed with the idea of a fierce plus size clothing line.
I never imagined that it’s possible; I actually never thought that it exists. I got so engaged that there was a point that I check the website almost every day, follow Erzullie's social media sites, I became a stalker! Ha-ha. Until now, Erzullie never fails to amaze me!
My First Erzullie piece would be the black #Erzullie cropped top. It was given by a very good friend of mine. She knew that I really wanted to have that piece but for some reason I never had a chance to get one.
When I wore it the first time, I can’t explain what I felt. I was so happy and so kilig that I’m finally wearing an Erzullie piece! There's a feeling of satisfaction and overwhelming happiness! Gosh! I will never forget that day!
#7 Messages to the Erzulliestas?
Please, always remember that you are beautiful! You are awesome! Don’t be afraid to try out something new. Be who you want to be. Be edgy, feel sexy, fierce up! Live the dream!
Oh by the way, I’m Chezka. Your next Erzullie Icon!
Erzullie is a fierce plus size fashion designer brand from the Philippines dedicated to serving the style of the empowered Erzulliesta. Shop online: www.erzullie.com