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Plus size model and overcoming body shaming

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is to say that what one person finds to be beautiful may not necessarily be what another finds beauty in. The desire and almost borderline obsession of chasing the fountain of youth is ubiquitous. Beauty standards vary from continent to continent and from race to race but what has been most common in beauty standards world over is a petite or slim body.

Generation after generation beauty standards has become to say the least ridiculous! The expectations placed mostly on women to be a certain version that is approved by society has left many to not only alter their bodies but has also seen the untimely demise of some.

One need not look far for these ungodly standards; as soon as you turn on your television, when you scroll on your social media accounts or a random pop up notification from one or the other brands that promises to turn back time, all a set up for you to buy into an illusion that will never be satisfied.

From this it is clear that media plays a significant role on how we perceive ourselves and others, disregarding that the concept of beauty is but a contingent that depends on variables that really cannot be fully accepted world over. I believe it would therefore be safe to say that the media influences our outlook on beauty and what we believe to be grotesque as well as the schemas we form throughout our lives.

CELEBRITIES AND BEAUTY STANDARDS

English singer and song writer, Adele, broke into the music industry a chubby and full figured woman who seemed happy and content with her physique, only caring about her music. Some nay-sayers did try and persuade her to change her looks to match her music, going as far as wanting her to lose a few kilograms, her replies were always centred on her powerful vocal cords being the nucleus of attention and not her looks. Fast forward a couple of years later and Adele can be mistaken for a runway model that is how much weight the multi-award winning songbird lost.

Many other celebrities the likes of Kelly Osbourne, Busta Rhymes and even Mike Tyson. The contention is not weight loss but the idea that being slim or skinny is more attractive and seen as a beauty standard. Losing weight for health reasons is a must and maintaining that weight loss is necessary for medical reasons but altering your body to fit into standards is another thing altogether
This does have one cogitate; are beauty standards so engrained in society and does the media have such insurmountable power that no matter who you are, you will be trapped in the idea of attaining a delusional perfection.

BODY SHAMING

Granted the media has a significant role it plays in portraying its ideal version of forever young and beautiful but as individuals we play a bigger part in shutting down such outlets that give off unattainable standards that will only depress and make both men and women feel inadequate. One of the things that should be treated with uttermost sensitivity is choosing our words when it comes to talking about someones body.

In an ideal world no one should be told that they are physically unattractive or that they need a nip and tuck here and there to be beautiful. The notion that being physically attractive is an important asset a man or woman can have and to maintain is a must is absolute bogus! No one should be held to standards that are subjective.

BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING

Kesego Samantha Moeng, a 20-something year old Mochudi native is collecting a number of accolades under her belt. Moeng is an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, she recently also debuted as an author in the middle of a pandemic and lastly she has embraced her full figure as she ventures into the world of modelling.

Moeng opened up to WeekendLife about her body and the turbulences that come with being a plus size model in an industry that idolises petite body structures. Well to me being a plus size model means more than just embracing being big bodied or full figured. It is the flamboyant way in which a woman can embrace her beauty and her strengths confidently regardless of what society may classify as beauty or rather what it may not be, she said.

Driven by the desire to show that beauty is just an idea, the ever bubbly personality shared with this publication that for her it took acceptance to do what she is doing. It also took self-love. Like many people who have struggled to accept themselves because of being at the receiving end of trolls about their body.

It was a process of tears, reopened scars. Above all self-acceptance. I have quite a few experiences with body shaming but I always shrug it off and wear my smile and confidence, said Moeng.
The robust personality that does swim wear model, cooperate wear modelling and other modelling for brands, is a self-starter and keeps going because her desire to make a name for herself outweighs the piercing voices of those who think shes not built for the industry.

PLUS SIZE MODELLING IN BOTSWANA

Botswana trails behind in acknowledging plus size women and helping them embrace and love themselves as they are. There are little to no platforms for plus size models, even with the ones that are present very little attention is given to them. This makes it difficult to help grow and instil confidence in a girl or even a boy child for that matter, that the images they see advertised are not realistic nor are they typical. They have been altered.

It is important that the next generation understands that beauty cannot be standardised, it is a subjective attribute that has many variables and trying to attain to a certain standard of beauty can have deleterious effects on oneself.

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WeekendLife

‘Mindset’ unlocks positive mindset

2nd February 2023
At the age of 17, Boniface Lewanika is ready to take over the world. He has shown commitment to being the next big thing to ever emerge from Botswana. Mindset MusiQ, as he is affectionately known, is a self-taught music producer. The story of how Mindset started music production can be traced back to end-to-end lockdowns, which jaded him to the core.

At least, for Mindset MusiQ, these lockdowns were a blessing in disguise. He got to unlock the hidden potential in him, or maybe, the creativity that he never knew about. Being locked down meant that Mindset MusiQ has plenty of time to waste, but he was quick to switch his mindset to coming up with something positive.

He saw it much better to waste time on the internet. Well, for lot of people, the internet was the only saving grace then. But for Mindset MusiQ, it was the beginning of a journey that he intends to walk for the rest of his life.

“I became a music producer because I love music. I then asked myself why I should not make music, that’s when in 2020 during lockdowns I started watching YouTube tutorials on how to make music. I didn’t have any knowledge on how to produce a song. YouTube introduced me to Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) which is a software used for music production.”

The Letlhakane born then downloaded his first software which was Ableton Live, which was way too complex and distorted. “I felt it was too hard to learn and I switched to FI studio which was also complicated but fortunately, easy to use. Because I don’t have a good voice to sing, music production became too good to me and very flexible to embark on.”

Mindset MusiQ became part of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) national roadshow, after being picked from the capacity building workshop. He was challenged to speak to the audience, fellow creatives (artists and music producers) and his presentation caught the eye of the adjudicator, DJ Fresh.

“I heard about the artist’s capacity building workshop from my mother, who saw it on Facebook. My father immediately reacted and dropped me off and even though I was late, the host then introduced me and the rest became history. As we speak, I am part of the Top 30, and we will be having the finale on the 11th of February in Gaborone.”

Being on the Top 30 for Mindset MusiQ is a dream come true. This is because he wasn’t even told that there will be a boot camp and grand prizes, and he has always wanted to advance his premature music career. He said this has shown that he is on the right track.

“Working with DJ Fresh is really cool. It’s not everyone who can be afforded that opportunity and the experience humbles me all the time. Already, I have rocked the Thando remix and I can’t wait to do more with his mentorship.”

Mindset MusiQ is currently in South Africa working on cooking more music with industry moguls. He was invited by producer Trey Bankz and some colleagues from Imperial City Music, a new record label in Johannesburg

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WeekendLife

All The Star She Is lands on BTV

2nd February 2023
With zero existence of TV programs empowering women in Botswana, a new show that strives to make that news of the past has just started airing on the tedious BTV. At least, after so many years, All The Star She Is will inspire viewers to see a new change in terms of supporting women in Botswana.

Each incredible series celebrates women but not from all walks of life, but those who are turning heads in the entertainment industry. The show will cast a bright light on women who have conquered tremendous obstacles and weathered the storms.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife on Monday, Director of Cosign267 Koone Boikaego said the show reveals the paths that these phenomenal women took to be where they are in the entertainment and media industry.

Cosign267 is a 100% youth owned film and TV Production Company led by Boikaego. It has worked with a number of organization, executing various projects such as filming, shooting, editing and one-on-one couch interviews.

The youthful company recently wrapped up the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) three months’ national roadshow and boot camp. It was assigned with capturing all moments of the roadshow, alongside Thato DJ Fresh Sikwane.

“Celebrating women is one thing that is often overlooked. We put together this project to take followers into the lives of creative and incredible women. They are determined to break walls and pave way for the next generation of women. In this show, these women serve viewers with factual stories of how they started and what it takes to be at the forefront, the bittersweet experiences that took them that far. It’s really a show that many young girls can draw inspiration from.”

Breaking down the show plan, Boikaego said airs every Saturday on BTV at 6PM, hosted by One Rabantheng. Rabantheng, famously known as Divine Diva is a media and marketing consultant, legendary radio personality who worked for Duma FM, e-TV and RB2, where she was shown the door for speaking foul of the then President without being aware that the microphone is on.

There are thirteen stars to be featured on the new show, therefore, this means that there will be thirteen episodes. Some of the familiar faces featured on the TV show are: Mpho Sebina, Olorato Ledique, Oratile Kebakile, Nnunu Ramogotsi, Tumi Ramsden, Kelly Ramputswa, Tshepie Olds, Winx Motcher, Mmaphala, Loretta and Nicole Martinez among others.

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WeekendLife

Lifestyle enthusiasts feel Big Brother vibes

27th January 2023

This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.

Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.

These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.

DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.

“For the very first time in history of Big Brother, we’ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.”

THE LOVE

Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.

Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2’s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.

Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign.  #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.

We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.

WINNING STRATEGY

Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.

DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.

THE WINNING CHALLENGE

Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).

These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.

The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencer’s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.

Legwaila said “We wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.”

DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING

When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said “MultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for what’s to come in the next few weeks from our country.”

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