Influencer MandzNotHot makes a statement for plus size women one fashion piece at a time
Social media influencer, turned muso, MandzNotHot had tongues wagging with her sizzling photoshoot pictures released last month.
The 23-year-old creative who hails from Pretoria can be seen in sexy lingerie, hot heels and sneakers at times, but is quick to share that this was not her first boudoir session. She undertook a similar shoot last year, with the sole purpose of celebrating her body.
“I am really not shy with how my body looks and about being out there with myself,” she said during our PREVIDAR interview.
Real name Mandisa Jakavula, the content creative caught the eyes of many with her ‘sho dintsang’ video skits narrated in sepitori – a popular slang used in Pretoria. Her influencing journey started with her giving out cooking instructions in sepitori, and because of its hilarious nature it soon caught on with the masses with 500 000 views in just one day. That gained her popularity that has seen her broaden her career into presenting and allowing her to tap into her musical gift of singing.
And now with all eyes on her, she wants to make a statement with every look that she puts together.
“Being a big boned girl is still very challenging even in this day and age. People don’t understand that we are challenged from the minute we want to buy clothes, and it is because of these challenges that we encounter that I feel we deserve to put ourselves out there. No matter what.”
She describes her style as streetwear and, “it is mostly me inspired because I’m definitely not conforming to any societal rule. I always standout wherever I am,” she said giggling.
These looks would comprise of a lot of cargo items, baggy clothing and a lot of pants, and is all anchored on the motto of “always be comfortable.”
But even with a fashion style that sticks out like hers, MandzNotHot shares that gaining her confidence came with its own insecurities.
“Especially in this industry where at first a certain type of body shape and a certain style was more accepted than the other. I mean, if you look at me I don’t wear weaves, I am big boned and I follow my own rules when it comes to fashion.
“Everything that could scream unworthy but because I know my worth, I know how beautiful I am and that I have a place within this industry, I pushed forward and that is paying off,” she said beaming. She also adds that the photoshoots are anchored on this belief, making a statement about herself.
And while many grow up to discover what careers they would want to venture into, the entertainment industry has always been MandzNotHot’s chosen career path with the support from her father.
From as early as she could remember, her father would encourage her singing and although taking the social media route was never part of the plan, it has ultimately led her to the bigger dream.
“I didn’t immediately become this confident but had to look up to others that have been making similar statements about big boned bodies. Personalities like Thickleeyonce were people I looked up to and still continue to. When I looked closely at her advocacy work, I realised that I could also do my part in advocating for self-love and inspiring other women, and men, to embrace themselves the way they are.”
“So, it’s really about making a point so that our presence is felt and that stores, including other entities, catch on. That we are deserving of better representation and are deserving of a space to be ourselves authentically,” she said.
Style, as a brand, became an intentional feature that she focuses on because of a story she wants to tell about herself. A story of confidence, uniqueness and being young, gifted and proudly BLACK.
“We can’t lie and say how one looks is not important because it is. But not so much for the masses as it is for you. How one looks communicates with the universe as well. If you look good and feel confident, you are basically summoning every good thing your way. It shows in how you walk and how you carry yourself. It’s all intertwined I believe.”
“Also, clothes are such a good pick-me-up. Ultimately, it’s about me and for me. Sending a message to myself first that I am deserving. If then my internal thoughts that are expressed outwardly through fashion reach someone else out there, then I have won. Then I am doing something right,” she adds.
MandzNotHot is currently focusing her energies on music. She has recently worked with personality Robot Boii on his Yithi Sonke EP, but also has her own music that she is sitting on.
Her first song release was last year with DJ Linda, titled Ngawe and with the many songs she has ready, is yet to decide on how to release them.
“I am very intentional with every step that I make within the industry. Whether through music or through clothes. I want everyone, especially young girls, to fearlessly appreciate themselves. To fearlessly appreciate their bodies and fearlessly express their fashion sense no matter what that looks like. And to make moves man. The world is our oyster.”
“Always remember, just because you are a big girl it doesn’t mean you can’t rock your crop-top or those shorts. As long as you are comfortable, do you and everyone else will catch on,” she said.