Five Minutes With Nigerian Plus-Size Model ‘Ebube’ On Inclusivity

A modest introduction about yourself.

I’m Ebubechukwu Gloria Chiejine. I’m a model, fashion enthusiast, very much a happy child, fun, and a big dreamer to mention the least.

What made you go into modelling?

Well, it was first people always going “fine girl, see as you get height, you suppose consider modelling o,” then to developing an interest in the fashion industry, and then specifically in models and what they do.

What was your reaction when you got your first call for a paid shoot?

I was excited and disappointed at the same time; excited because I finally landed a job, and disappointed because of the pay. It was 20 thousand Naira.

Ebube for yuteerone
Photographed by Tope Horpload

My differences make me an asset in my own right if I work them in my favour and with hard work and consistency, I’ll get everything I want no matter how many times I’m turned down.

Do you feel people have certain perceptions about you being a plus-size model? If yes, what do you think those perceptions are?

Yes; it’s mostly about my size and it not being the most “appropriate” for the career type.

You’re not the conventional size 0-2 model, how has that helped your career?

It hasn’t totally been helpful. It has, to a large extent, also been quite the hindrance; but yes, it has helped in the sense that some designers want a curvy girl, and I happen to be that girl so in that case, I sort of became the “one-in-a-million” model since most models are slim.

How has your decision to be a model impacted you so far?

It has most impacted my happiness because I’m doing something I absolutely love, also socially; I’ve met some amazing people because of modelling.

What is your opinion about the representation of plus-size models in the industry?

It’s not as efficient as the representation of regular-sized models mostly is. Plus-sized models are made to compete on the same field as regular-sized models when it’s quite a well-known fact that preference is not high in our favour, be it in fashion shows, photoshoots, international representations etc.

What would you say has kept you going in a demanding industry?

My passion, major support from my people, and the need to prove that the non-conventional body type can dominate hard.

Scrolling through your Instagram page, there’s a lot of radiant skin popping. Can you let me in on your secret for keeping your skin glowing?

With great pleasure; amazing skin is the outcome of good products, lots of water, proper nutrition, consistency, and self-love.

Can you recommend any of those good products you speak of to our readers?

I use Clean & Clear, Neutrogena face wash and face scrub to mention the least.

What has been the most memorable event you’ve experienced as a model?

I’ve got two: the 2018 Lagos Fashion Week; it was my first major fashion show (a most thrilling experience), and then a shoot for Ndani which was just beautiful.

Being fairly new, what are the things you like about the industry? What are the things you don’t like about it?

I like the amazing friends I’ve made, the exposure I’ve gained so far, the runway shows and shoots and my agency (Beth Models Management). I particularly do not like the fact that models are made to wait under the sun for hours during castings, clients paying us way less than we are worth, and some members of the crews on set being plain disrespectful.

Can you tell us lessons learned from being a model?

My differences make me an asset in my own right if I work them in my favour and with hard work and consistency, I’ll get everything I want no matter how many times I’m turned down.

What would you say to other plus-size models looking to pursue a career in modelling, and what should they expect coming into the industry?

Expect people to be fascinated and not so fascinated by your courage to delve into this career; expect to sometimes doubt your suitability after a couple of turndowns; expect some awkward glances thrown at you cause of your size, but always remember you’re amazing and good enough no matter what people think! Who cares what they think anyway? [Laughs]

Would you like to add something else to this conversation?

As an ending remark, there are a couple of things to bear in mind:

  • The fact that you’re plus-size doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look and be toned so gym, gym hard.
  • Always look your best to castings, fashion shows, and events. You meet potential clients everywhere, and you best be looking ready and appropriate.
  • Take lots and lots of pictures and videos that emphasise your features, and personality even better without makeup.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene, I cannot overemphasise this! We all sweat, so carry wipes, body sprays, and perfumes around so you can easily freshen up. There’s honestly no greater turnoff than a model being stinky (no hard feelings).
  • Feel free to lose weight if that’s what you want. Don’t let anyone pressure you, and do it at your pace.
  • Don’t be scared to reach out to local and international agencies.
  • Finally, you are gorgeous as hell; walk tall and be confident!

It was lovely chatting with you Models Talk.

Kindly follow @ebubec on Instagram, and @ebubec4 on Twitter.

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