Xoliswa Zinzile “Muntomuhle” Mahlangu
Thank God for PLUS MODEL MAG and many beautiful body positive bloggers and designers like Passion Jones, Jezra, Nadia Boohson, Naturally fashionable, Mihlali Gqada and Ouma Tema just to mention a few. This once reserved tomboyish nerd is slowly breaking out of her shell, and slowly becoming the stylish diva that was always screaming to be let out.
I am 27 year old closet fashion blogger (lol). I am a skills development manager by profession. I am currently working on attaining my Masters in Software Engineering, I have a keen interest in technology and multimedia design. Part of my work is developing soft-skills in my teenage students. This has surprisingly helped me streamline my life so much, you can’t teach someone to be confident if you are not confident.
Growing up as the big kid was not an easy task. Looking back at childhood pictures, you are that one gigantic kid, the tall and big one who can’t have all the prim and proper dresses that all the cute tiny girls had. It wasn’t all bad though, as people would think you are older and immediately put you in leadership positions ,that grew an awesome leader in me.
Primary school was a breeze and I could do all that I put my mind to .I participated in all activities despite my size, even when I could hear the whispers when I would enter beauty pageants, but I was just too young to care. My confidence took a nose dive when I went to a bigger high school with girls that made me feel I wasn’t pretty enough. Luckily for me I had my academics and my religion kept me on the straight and narrow and looks took a backseat for a while.
By the time I came to varsity things got really interesting: looks mattered but I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. When I had been working for a while my mini-obsession with weight loss started I tried everything I could afford to try and lose weight but I just could never stick it out. My weight greatly influenced my self-worth and the opportunities that I perused.
A breaking point came when I realized that I am much more than my weight or waist size. My sister and my husband are a great influence on me, they remind just how awesome I am. I am intelligent, I am beautiful , I am creative , I am blessed , I am influential , I am well spoken . I am amazing and it has nothing to do with what size I wear. Over the past months I have started embracing my boss-lady look and it has also made me feel better about myself. When you dress well, you feel good and when you feel good you do amazing stuff.
The photo-shoot was an amazing experience, my sister and my friend joined in. It gave us an opportunity to embrace our collective beauty. Getting ready for the shoot: from the theme selection, picking out and getting our make-up done got us to play around with our love for fashion and beauty. The time we spent before the shoot got us to bond on a level we had never experienced before. Working with such a talented photographer made us all comfortable and we got to explore our beauty.
It was a blast.
Images taken in Fleurhof Johannesburg
Clothing by Model