In today’s episode, I AM returns – after an extended pause initiated by the death of George Floyd and the timely uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement – with a conversation about allyship. I’m talking to Allie Weber, curve model and up-and-coming young activist in her own right, about the importance of showing up for what you believe in.
The past six months have been momentous, we are living through extraordinary times and there is much work to be done.
So where do we begin? And, what exactly does it mean to be an ally in 2020? In researching this interview I came across some great definitions of allyship that I thought help explain the concept far more eloquently than I ever could:
What is allyship?
“An active, consistent, and arduous practise of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group” – The AntiOppression Network
START WHERE YOU ARE
I believe in the importance of starting the conversation (or, importantly, the plural – conversations) by acknowledging and reflecting on our own personal history, experience, privilege and biases and making a commitment to do more. I also think that in doing so – we are probably going to make mistakes. I know that I, personally, have a lot to learn. Actually, I think we all have a lot to learn – about the realities and the complexities of what life is like for other people – and we have to start somewhere. So start where you are. We have to be willing to open up to “not knowing”. It’s time to educate ourselves. As Allie says: “I think it’s our job, as white women in the (fashion) industry, to ask our friends and our colleagues those questions; ‘what are your struggles and how can I help you with them?'”
LISTEN. LEARN. AND TAKE ACTION.
As my audience are likely learning to expect from the fluid-structure of I AM the podcast, this episode also touches a lot of other ground; from Size Diversity, Sexuality and Self Acceptance to how Allie was originally scouted and her insights into the business side of modelling.
I AM. The podcast is available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Breaker Audio, Radio Public and Anchor. Please subscribe and share. Thank you.
Allie Weber is a successful curve model based in Los Angeles, California. Her growing list of clients includes Skims, created by Kim Kardashian West, and, most recently, the ever-iconic Levi’s who featured Allie in their global 2020 campaign.
Alongside this interview, I am sharing images from the Fashion Editorial – shot with a fantastic local creative team – that connected us in Los Angeles mid-January. These images were not created to illustrate a story of allyship, but rather are included to introduce you to Allie and the gorgeous young woman she is.
MODEL: ALLIE WEBER
AGENCY: NATURAL MODEL MANAGEMENT
PHOTOGRAPHER: Amber Melody
HAIR STYLIST: JAYCEE MNIRAJD
MAKEUP ARTIST: KATE STARKEY
Thank you for taking the time to engage with this conversation. I will link more resources below if you’d like to dig deeper. As always please feel free to get in touch if you have feedback, suggestions or more information. I look forward to hearing from you. x