Shareefa is an full-time curve model, actress and singer. She has worked with many brands such as ASOS, Simply Be, Curvissa and posed for the now famous Swimsuits for All Calendar. Here she shares her views on body image, her love for Victoria's Secret and her lingerie pet peeves...
Hi Shareefa, tell me about yourself -
I am a Curve model, originally from Norwich but I’m now living in London. About three years ago I went through a phase where I kept getting approached by photographers and modelling agents and also strangers on the street who were telling me I should model, so eventually I approached an agency and they signed me on the day and I have been modelling ever since.
How would you describe your style?
I would say I’m pretty flexible with my style; I don’t tend to stick with just one image or a particular colour palette. I love trying on different fabrics and shapes and finding out what suit me the most. At the moment I’m wearing a lot of shift dresses, I pair them with sandals and a hat for a really simple summer look.
Would you say your lingerie fits into you that style or do you like to express yourself differently or experiment underneath?
I experiment a lot with my outer-wear and I always select my underwear very carefully around my outfits so, yes, I would say its in-keeping with my style. I tend to buy new lingerie most months so I have quite a big collection! I have a real pet peeve for bra straps showing and wearing the wrong shape knickers with jeans so I have just about every style to suit whatever I’m wearing. I have this really handy bra converter; it helps hide your straps when wearing racer back tops.
What are your favourite fashion and lingerie designers/ brands?
My Favourite fashion designer is Chanel, I would shop there everyday if I could. For my lingerie, my number one brand has got to be Victoria's Secret. For me the fit is amazing and I think it's really important to have your lingerie fitting correctly - it really helps me to feel body confident when I know I'm supported!
What’s your favourite set of lingerie and why?
I love to mix and match my undies so It's hard to pick just one set! While I don't think you can go wrong with sexy and sophisticated black lace, right now I would have to pick my bright pink bralette from Victoria’s Secret. The colour is amazing!
What’s is your worst ever lingerie purchase?
The worst set of underwear I have ever purchased has to be when I was travelling abroad and forgot to pack any underwear in my suitcase so I ran into H&M and picked up the nearest pair I could find, when I arrived at the hotel and opened up the packet I realised I had bought kids undies aged six years!
How would you describe your body image?
I am very comfortable with my body; I embrace my curves, cellulite, stretch marks and all the things that society is forever telling us to hide as women! I think health is the most important thing. I am really into my nutrition and I have a vegetable juice or smoothie everyday and avoid high sugar and processed food. I go to the gym and practice yoga so I know I'm healthy and my body is how it's supposed to be.
Have you always been happy with your body?
I grew up as a chubby kid I was always teased about my size, but as I grew into my body I learned to appreciate my curves and now I wouldn't change them for the world.
Are there any words of wisdom you like to live your life by?
Be yourself because everybody else is taken.
MAKE-UP BY ELLA NORRIS AT GENIE DESIGNS | HAIR BY AMBER AT TONI & GUY