Body Acceptance - Work Out Self Perception
Interview By: Mattie Gonzales
Had a nice chat on body positivity with Alexa Fitzpatrick, what it means to her, how she stepped into acceptance and some favorite influencers that have helped inspire her. Photos by Katya Nunez, all photos shot summer 2019.
How did you meet this group of women, and what was it like to work together?
I got to meet this fantastic group of talented models through social media! I had made a post looking for women for this project, and I'm so lucky that they were all interested! Honestly, I was super nervous that once we all got together that something might not work or maybe some of them wouldn't get along (you never know when you shoot with strangers from the internet) but we all clicked instantly. I've never been in a shoot with many empowering and encouraging ladies! During the shoot, we were all cheering each other on, making jokes, dancing, and just overall having an enjoyable time! Because of this project, I made some terrific friends that I love!
What do you think is essential for people to understand about body positivity? Is it just for the curvy women, or is it for everyone?
I think people need to understand that body positivity is not a "curvy girl" movement. Body positivity applies to everyone, no matter the gender or race. It also means more than one thing it's not just about weight and size, it's also about acceptance of appearances and disabilities. No two people are the same, and every BODY is beautiful. I think people need to understand that this movement has stemmed from society and social media perspectives and messages of how people should dress, look, act and other things that they consider to be "normal" because what they aren't realizing is how badly it affects self-worth, self-care, and overall mental health. Being a positive body advocate means standing up and supporting that everyone deserves to be accepted, represented, and celebrated no matter their appearance.
How is society changing when it comes to body positivity?
Society has come a long way from what they called "normal" and has been more accepting, especially in the last five years. More types of people are being represented in TV, movies, magazines, books, and even Broadway musicals. Even social media has been promoting different shapes of bodies and various types of people! Although I think we have a long way to go, I'm so proud of how far we've gotten!
If you could tell your 13-year-old self anything, what would it be?
I know it sounds cliché and overused, but I would tell myself to: Never give up, you'll make it. Honestly, I've only gotten this far by trying again and again, even when things got rough. Although I probably wouldn't believe myself because when I was 13 and people told me the same thing, I would laugh and think, "what do adults know!" I thought I knew everything at that age, and now that I'm older, I realize that it's the truth, nothing comes easy!
How can we enforce these affirmations to the young men and women in our culture?
We can enforce these affirmations for young men and women by having more body positivity advocates in the media and more representation on all platforms that can help this generation and the next generation grow while putting out more knowledge about why we even have body positivity in our society.
What has inspired you to come forward with this project?
As a curve model, I have always been inspired by people of different body types, and I've had the idea for this project for a long time, but I've never been able to express and get together my thoughts until I met Katya Nunez. Without her vision, help, and overall support for this project, I probably would have never been able to come forward. But I'm so glad we did because I feel like it's the right time to start enforcing more body positivity messages and images!
What inspires you daily?
My family and friends are my main inspiration for everything I do! But lately, I have been inspired by Madelyn Ewing, Emily and Maddy Johnson, Shantell Anderson, Tony Nuttall, Stephen Jones, Lacey Durrett, Louise Goddard, and Rebeca Soto, because of them, I was able to get out of a rough patch and start feeling like myself again! I am so fortunate that they have all become a part of my life, and I'm so thankful for every one of them.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
I think the best advice that I've ever received has come from my grandmother's. Whenever I've had a rough patch or have dug myself in a hole. I have always stuck by the advice that they have given me that "things will get better just around the corner, I just need to be patient". And I live by that advice, and I always keep that on my mind!
What is the worst advice you have ever received, and how did you learn from it?
Someone dear to me once said they wanted to give me advice about modeling. They said, "just know you're not going to make it so I think you should stop while you're ahead." I took this advice to heart and it did divert me from trying hard in the beginning. I kept thinking " who am I kidding, I'll never make it". But then I saw Ashley Graham on the cover of Vogue in 2017 and I knew the advice that I've been given wasn't who I should have been listening to. Here's this gorgeous curve lady standing with all these beautiful women on the cover and she had made it! I thought to myself I'm never going to take advice from someone who says I can't do this and I'm not going to let anyone tell me to stop. And well here I am.
Favorite local designers? Instagram icon? Artists?
My Favorite local designers are Baddie Babkin's Factory, Emily Petiya,(Spacey Designs) Melissa An, MorbidlyMina, and Born Ugli.
My Favorite Instagram icons are the QUEEN herself Janelle Tejan @modeljanelletejan and Warumono @filthywarumono
When was the moment you felt truly free to express yourself?
When I was 19, I joined a rocky horror shadow cast in Denver, and after doing it for a few months, we had a night where we were all dancing on stage before the show with the audience, and it was one of the first times in my life that I felt like I could do anything and express myself without being embarrassed or made fun of. It was seriously a magical moment, and a moment I will never forget.
How do you honor yourself; practice self-care, healing, and progression?
On my days off, I like to practice self-care by having an hour without technology and relaxing with a face mask, my favorite snack, and my favorite book. I want to do this to focus on getting myself together and thinking of everything I've done and accomplished to promote positive thoughts.
What is your favorite material to wear?
I seriously love Elastane, also known as Spandex! Especially when it comes to wearing workout clothes!
What outfit makes you feel like an unstoppable boss?
Honestly, I couldn't just pick one outfit, but I think anything that is bright colored and makes a statement makes me feel like a boss.
What would be the soundtrack to your life?
I think the soundtrack to my life would be from the 2012 movie Dark Shadows!
Ever since the movie came out with my favorite male actor Johnny Depp, I have been listening to the soundtrack on repeat! I don't know what it is about it, but I relate to it so much!