Model challenges women’s body image issues

Date: 1/21/2016

EAST LONGMEADOW – When she was 21 years old Alexandra Holloway had an epiphany.  She was with her father at Foxwoods attending a concert. As they were climbing the stairs out of the parking garage, she couldn’t help but notice her father was bounding up them, while she was out of breath. It was then she knew she had to lose weight.

Her story, though, is more than one in which she has become fit. Holloway is discussing issues that affect many women: how society views them and therefore how they view themselves.

An East Longmeadow resident who is a hairdresser and make-up artist, Holloway uses her blog, http://alexandrahollowaypinup.com, to spread a message of self-worth.

The subtitle of the blog is “Not a size 0, Not Miss USA…but wears a crown anyway!”

She wrote, “Plain and simple, your life is your own. Stop judging where you think you should be, or your self worth based on what society tells you. How many times this year did you feel bad for yourself because you haven’t accomplished something that ‘by now’ you should’ve done. Or how many times did you feel like a ‘loser’ or ‘failure’ because you’re 30 years old and broke off your engagement with no marriage or children anywhere in sight. First of all, what’s the rush? Just because everyone else is on a time crunch to pop out children they can’t afford to marry someone they’ll divorce in five years, doesn’t mean you have to. Obviously, not all scenarios end that way – but that is the reality of the world we live in. If someone told you to jump off a bridge, would you? When society is indirectly telling you what you should or shouldn’t have accomplished based on your age is practically the same thing. Another thing to take into account is Facebook is a bunch of b******t, everyone lies and acts way happier than they are. Don’t fall victim into thinking you’re missing out on life because someone makes their life out to be better than it is. Be you, be happy with you and do things on your time – when you are ready!”

Over the course of four years, Holloway lost 120 pounds. She told Reminder Publications that she had always been heavy.    

“I never had a small moment,” she said.

Now she weighs less than she did in sixth grade.

She accomplished this goal though diet and exercise and credits her brother Raymond for helping her get through the weight plateaus that took place in the process.

She watches what she eats and when she eats and works out five times a week. Holloway said she couldn’t imagine her life without going to the gym.

Now she models and specializes in photography that harkens back to the heyday of the 1940 and ‘50s pinup. Her work has appeared in various magazines and she was selected as one of the calendar models for Narragansett Brewing. She is using her experiences to talk about the nature of beauty.

“I want to eventually change how beauty is perceived,” she said.

Noting that she grew up “an ugly ducking,” Holloway explained that for her childhood Brittney Spears was held up as an ideal look for young women. She asserted the beauty industry  “glorified an image you can’t obtain.”

She explained that photos of women in the spotlight of the entertainment industry are the results of expert make-up followed by photo editing.

Her blog has elicited positive comments from readers who are inspired by Holloway’s story.

“Everyone is insecure,” Holloway noted.

In a post titled “You’re Be-you-tiful,” she wrote on her blog, “You are, so accept it and make sure you let everyone around you know it too. You don’t get a second chance to be someone else, so be true to who you are. You won’t wake up with that sexy body you’ve always dreamed of because you spent the year putting yourself down and hating your body for what it is. Your dreams won’t come true if you keep telling yourself you can’t accomplish them. You are more than you even know. You are a body that can heal itself, you are a mind that can think for itself, you are a heart that can love and hurt – and nobody else on this planet will ever be you.  So live your life, love it and most importantly, love yourself. In 2016 if there is one thing I hope you take from my blogs is to let go of the negativity you put upon yourself, and learn that it’s okay to love you, even if you’re not a millionaire, size 2, D cup, big bootied – whoever the hell you think you need to be in order to be happy. I hope 2016 is your best year yet!”