Yoliswa says it was nerve-racking to participate in the Naked Issue campaign. ‘I had done lots of lingerie shoots before, but there’s something about being completely nude that leaves you scared shitless,’ she says.
She participated in the Marie Claire campaign because she’s an advocate for using her platforms to have a positive impact. She also believes that it’s time society starts getting used to seeing different body types in the media. ‘Representation is important, for all types of women all over the country,’ she says.
Yoliswa believes that it’s important to participate in social and charitable projects because the world lacks so much compassion and empathy. ‘So, if there’s a chance for you to show that you can do better, then go for it. In the quest to become the best human being you can be, being charitable and engaging in important social moments is definitely a start,’ she says.
‘My body-positive politics kicked in [once in front of the camera], and I eventually just felt comfortable, because that’s my body and it’s beautiful in whatever way it’s presented,’ she says.
Yoliswa’s work is heavily focused on beauty. As a digital entrepreneur with a large following, she says she’s in the fortunate position to help ‘change troubling narratives around body image and the idea of “beauty” in the media’.
For Yoliswa, ‘beauty means being completely obsessed with myself. Beauty means being accepting and kind to my body and being as a whole. Beauty means being able to be as expressive and open as I would like to be with myself and the world. Beauty also means treating everyone else the same way I treat myself in this regard. And, being kind, accepting and welcoming to everyone, however they come.’
For the Naked Issue campaign, Yoliswa is supporting Menzi Children’s Home, which is in Tsakana, the township where she grew up. ‘My heart particularly goes out to children in need, who cannot fend for themselves. Supporting a children’s home was a no-brainer,’ she says.
The founder, Matshidiso Mokoape, started this NGO eight years ago when she was 19. Yoliswa says, ‘I think it’s pretty remarkable that someone who is only 19 can start an organisation this moving for orphaned and disabled children. At 19, I was probably being very ungrateful and worrying about trivial things, while she started a NGO for orphaned and disabled children. That’s proof that some people are just magical.’
To donate an amount of your choice to the Menzi Children’s Home, use the Snapscan app to scan the QR code below.
Or if you’re on mobile, click to donate: https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/XjqqMz8t
Don’t have snapscan? SMS Yoliswa to 38049 and donate R10 as many times as you like.