Erzulliesta Lou Retiro started out as an online fan and when she saw that Erzullie was hosting an open plus size model shoot, she immediately took the chance. What she thought was going to be a brief encounter, became a life-changing moment. Check out her journey towards plus size empowerment.
#1 First off, introduce yourself, Erzulliesta and what’s your journey as a plus size woman?
I am Lou Retiro, 24 years of age, a business analyst for a global company.
In my elementary days, I always join beauty contests and activities until I got chubby. Since then, I had low self-esteem. My family would convince me to lose weight since all my four elder sisters are slim. I have tried it, but then I keep on failing which added a lot of frustration for myself.
Soon, I have read articles on plus sizes and love your body campaigns through media. This opened my eyes that we should not fall for the idea that we should all have the same size, face and body. People around you will accept you once you have learned to accept yourself.
This is true for me, I am confident to tell to everyone that I am a plus size woman now, take it or leave it. I want to be an example of self acceptance and self appreciation.
#2 So how did you end up joining Erzullie’s Plus Size Model open shoot?
It was 2012 when I have searched online for brands in the Philippines that caters to plus size women. I remember they just had closed their search for Erzullie Icon that time. After that, I constantly followed it on Facebook, since I also have friends who like the brand. I felt that this brand is really for me. It has style and class that suits my age and personality.
When I saw them open a plus size model shoot to the public, I applied immediately and got in. It was one of the best hours of my life! I am really thankful to Erzullie for giving me an opportunity to learn how to model and be groomed professionally. I couldn't believe the transformation from head to toe.
#3 Speaking of transformation, how did the experience change you?
I now firmly believe that I am beautiful with my curves! It is just a matter of wearing the right undergarments and clothes to emphasize it. I learned to spice up my everyday life with Erzullie, embracing my curves, trying more make-up, accessories, confidence and most of all wearing a fierce attitude. Also Erzullie made me feel relaxed about my size. I don't have to worry anymore if it will fit on some clothes because I know, they have it here for me.
#4 Any messages for the Erzulliestas out there?
By definition, Fierce is being strong and showing a powerful intensity. These are the words that we should always remember. We have exceptional quality in our own way. This should become our mindset. Get up, dress up and show up!
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