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Public Service Announcement by Jazzy

ALLOW ME TO RE-INTRODUCE MYSELF

Hi, babes! I’m @jasminealleva – resident blogger and behind-the-scenes social media manager for Bissy.

I first joined Bissy as a model back in 2018. The opportunity to work with this brand was enough for me to forego attending a Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks game, so you know it was a BIG deal.

My modeling career began several years before that shoot and had been marred by its own ups and downs. The body positivity movement had not reached the mainstream when I was whittling my body away on the never-ending belt of a treadmill and thus, I conformed myself to fit the industry standards through unhealthy and unsafe measures. To become a model was a pipe dream, so when I signed to Ford Models; I felt like it became something tangible. I was SO close.  


I would come to find out that within that tangibility was its actual non-existence. I was barraged with negative talk of my body and its presence; never quite thin enough to keep agents content or build up clientele. Like the never-ending belt of a treadmill, my modeling career seemed to go on a loop: I’d thin down, sign to an agency, gain weight, and then get dropped.

Heartbreaking is an understatement. Not only did I starve for this career, I was killing myself for it. The hands of depression gripped deep into my body and lack of sustenance only made everything worse. There were so many times when I wanted to quit (and sometimes still do).

My discomfort with the modeling industry demanded my voice. When I spoke up, I was audible; loud enough to be blacklisted. I was constantly fighting the inner turmoil of “shut up and take it” against “speak up and fight it”. I chose the latter. The revelation that my body, as thin and feeble as it was, had been consistently degraded within the industry made me open my eyes to everything else. If I wasn’t thin enough, how did other women – and girls – feel? If I wasn’t fitting into the standards – how would other women and girls fit? The return to tangibility: touching those standards is not only unrealistic; it is IMPOSSIBLE.

I could not sell health if I wasn’t healthy. I could not be a role model unless I was someone I could look up to. And as the industry deterred me from the path I had made for myself to be a healthy role model, I pushed on towards it.

Enter Bissy.

Receiving the call to be a Bissy model was the recognition that I was on the right path. I had been disheartened and dejected by the modeling industry, even as I had played by its rules. When I finally screamed out that it was BS, it seemed like Bissy heard my plea to the universe.

Not only was this brand bridging gaps within the industry, but a team of badass women were at the helm. I was absolutely enthralled to be given the opportunity to join them.

Fast forward a few years and here we are. We are a collaborative team of women who have lived the ins and outs of the modeling industry, as well as the space of womanhood. We grew up in a time (and still do) when we are overwhelmed by negative tabloids and hurtful messages regarding our corporal beings. It has taken diligence and tenacity to push against everything that has been piled on top of us, but it is an honorable task, nonetheless. 


I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, thousands of miles away from anything fashion or modeling industry related, however I was still a recipient of the same messages young girls hear from a young age: you’re too skinny, you’re too fat, be ladylike, don’t try too hard, etc. etc. I knew from that young age that I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and it was my endeavor to make it so. I wanted to infiltrate the industries and change them. Bissy makes this possible for me and I am incredibly grateful.

As long as young girls look up to us, I am going to give them something to look up to. As long as you are reading this, I am going to give you words that will hopefully make you feel seen, heard, and understood. I invite you to join me – and all of us at Bissy – on this journey and conversation. Can’t wait to see where we go next!

Xo,

Jazzy
@jasminealleva