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Conversations with the Inspiring Ximena Valentina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ximena Valentina.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ximena. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
About three years ago, I started my Instagram page after doing a “for fun” photoshoot with a friend of mine. I wanted to see my body type represented more, so I figured I should start doing it myself. The Instagram got more traction than I had anticipated, so I kept posting photos and doing shoots with friends and then photographers and eventually, I had companies reaching out and my following grew to what it is today at over 30k.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It most definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. In this type of industry, you face so much rejection and scrutiny about your looks and your body that you really have to develop a thick skin. After about two years of independently modeling through my Instagram, I finally got signed to an agency which at that point was my biggest success so far. Then, four months later, I was dropped before ever getting put up on the website. That’s been really hard to deal with mentally. I felt like I failed. But you just have to keep on going. Get over every bump in the road and keep trying your best to push through and work towards your goal, eventually, you will get there.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m very proud of the body positive impact I’m making. My favorite comments and message I receive are from a woman who tells me that seeing me be confident in my body has helped them feel more confident in theirs. I’m constantly trying my best to show another plus woman that we do not need to be restricted to the way society has said we should present ourselves. I wear bikinis, shorts, crop tops- and the message is always about loving yourself today, at this moment. The only thing that is ever holding you back is yourself. The more people see themselves represented in the media, the more comfortable they will start to feel with themselves.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
I think woman have an advantage with plus size modeling especially. The industry hasn’t yet opened up and been as accepting of the plus size male models yet, which really sucks. Men deserve to feel body positive at any size too.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: ximenavmodels

Image Credit:
Photos taken by Elizabeth Estrada and Bonnie Nicholds

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