Meet Alessandra Grima, she is a plus-size model and a comedian from Providence, RI. She is unapologetic, gregarious, and determined, this is her story as a fat person in the public eye.
Q: What is your title, what do you do?
A: I am a published model and stand-up comedian.
Q: How did you get into the business you are in today?
A: Comedy was always the plan. It was actually comedy that lead to modeling! I needed head-shots done and I was so pleased with how I looked in them that I started modeling for fun. I had zero self-esteem and couldn’t believe I was so photogenic! WHO WAS I!?
Q: What is the of the biggest challenge you have faced & overcame?
A: I’m “too short, too fat, too busty, too much belly”, etc. to be a “model”. Agencies don’t sign short models and only accept plus size models who are over 5’10” with flat tummies and perfect proportions. So, I started finding my own gigs and my own shoots. I have walked the runway for L.A. Fashion Week, Boston Fashion Week, and more. The second year of Boston Fashion Week I was a guest on a panel about plus size modeling and how it’s struggling. I book shoots consistently and maintain a website with monthly subscribers who want to see my work. Challenges, schmallenges. This 5’4″ biotch is killing the game.
Q: Wha is your work motto?
A: “No days off.” I have big aspirations. I’m currently taking sketch writing classes in NYC and working towards auditioning for SNL. Every waking moment is spent writing, modeling, building my brand. I also have a day job — that I’d love to leave. Once my art makes enough money and I can leave my day job, I will be able to go in 100%.
Q: What’s the best advice to give someone who is interested in being a comedian?
A: Go to open mics! Write EVERY funny thought down – you will forget it. Be social! When I’m in a writing rut, it’s usually because I’m not getting any social stimulation to feed that fire.
Q: What do you like most about this industry?
A: Let’s say I do a show and have a 20-minute set. That’s 20 minutes where everyone in the room can forget about war, and bombs, and their struggles. It’s 20 minutes of an escape. It’s therapy. As far as modeling, I believe it’s life-changing. I want other women to see me, modeling with my big belly, and think, “Wow, I have a belly like her…I guess it is beautiful.” It’s time for us to be represented!
Q: What would you want to tell your 15-year-old self?
A: Don’t cry when the weight doesn’t come off because, guess what, it never will. You are beautiful and healthy and so special. That beautiful body of yours will represent the average American woman: 5’4″, size 16.
Q: What does girl power mean to you?
A: Girl power found me late in life. I was a tomboy, my friends were mostly male, and like many females, I liked the company of men better than women. I wasn’t girly and pretty and gossipy – I didn’t fit in with that sect of women. It wasn’t until I started to love myself that I realized all of us are struggling with confidence. Not befriending women wasn’t helping the problem, it was making it worse. I grew up in an era where if you saw a gorgeous woman, you’d have to point out her flaws in order to feel better about yourself. We were all struggling to love ourselves and it would’ve happened sooner if we came together and lifted each other up. Once I found my confidence and self-love, I noticed that I was LIVING for strong, beautiful women. YASSS QUEEN!! LET’S BRUNCH! I’m proud to say I have a wonderful girl gang.
Q: Anything else you want to mention?
A: Confidence isn’t something you find and then “you’re done”. There will be hard days and it will be a life-long battle, but it does get easier and easier.
And that’s this week’s, Wonderful Woman!
Thank you, Alessandra, for being YOU & inspiring others with your talents.