BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
FASHION model and video vixen Whitney Roxy Masike says she accepts criticism in positive light from society despite some people viewing modelling and fashion with negative lenses.
Remarkably, in her short career, Whitney has already managed to rub shoulders with some of the industry’s big brands.
On the music front, she has featured in videos by top artistes among them Jah Prayzah, Andy Muridzo, Coco Master, Simba Tagz, Roki, Leonard Mapfumo and Trevor Dongo.
I have always been passionate about modelling and fashion since I was young, I have been following trends in the industry.
I draw inspiration from top models such as British model-cum-actress and singer Naomi Campbell and South Sudanese-British model and designer Alex Wek.
In my modelling journey, I give credit to my mentor Le Madea Gerald, who has been my image consultant manager, not forgetting Size 4, who have groomed me to be a good model representing Zimbabwe on the global stage.
It is not easy being a model as there are people who have wrong impressions about models. I am a victim of that, particularly from those who do not appreciate modelling as a profession.
I will not be moved. Instead, I will soldier on until I achieve what I want with my career.
I have faced sexual violence and harassment especially when I ventured into boudoir modelling.
I faced challenges from men requesting sexual favours or using inappropriate language filled with sexual innuendos.
People must be reminded that modelling is a profession, just like any other.
Models must be respected for their craft, we are not prostitutes. I have values to maintain, so whatever I do, I still need to maintain those values and be a good role model. There are many other young people out there looking up to me.
In the past, I have been working as a commercial, fashion and video vixen, but in 2019, I developed to be a boudoir model, advertising lingerie and doing nudity photography.
The most important thing for that type of shoot in my opinion is for someone to be comfortable with her or his art.
I usually have music playing so that there is less tension, that is how the photographer and I get along. I believe that as a model, you have to know what you want to wear first.
Depending on the theme of the shoot, you choose what best fits your body and what you are comfortable in. If it’s a nude shoot, then being in a space that is comfortable helps you to relax.
Communication between the model and photographer is very important because it builds trust and that is something that you can see in the images.
I believe getting to know the person shooting you helps to break that barrier and when shooting, you should give your input about how you envision the pictures.
Tell the photographer what you want to do. I usually give feedback as I am shooting as I think positive feedback helps to build the person’s self-esteem and make them more confident.
Reflection on COVID-19
I believe the year 2020 was a tough one for everyone as we were brought face-to-face with the most basic questions of life.
What are we here for? What have we done with our lives? What do we wish to do if given the opportunity? Who is truly important in our lives?
As a model, I have learnt a lot of things through this COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought with it numerous national lockdowns.
I have discovered that in this pandemic, some people are more vulnerable than others, we need cities with transport systems that are free of mobility barriers and accessible to all.
Buying and selling online became a big opportunity during the lockdown, but we need more sustainable deliveries, remember the potential of cargo bikes and the reorganisation of the distribution system to bring us closer to zero emission logistics.
Digital tools are essential for the efficient use of transport systems, but they must work for everyone.
Digital literacy and accessibility are needed to make the most of these tools.
- Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto