Runway Stomping & Radio Talking: Ali Roc
From runway to radio, Ali Roc, doesn’t lack personality nor grace when it comes to her career. She is a fierce plus-size model and an empowering radio personality, who is inspiring women all over the world.
Q: When did you start your modeling career and what or who were your early passions and influences?
A: So I started my career in high school with some runway shows with a modeling group who was there. From there I watched Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Imani. The new models came with Gigi Hadid and some other that influence me the way I wanted to start my brand. I kinda picked it up again last year actually.
Q: As a plus size model, what are some of the things you have dealt with?
A: It hasn’t been a lot of things, but it has been. I think the first people taking plus size modeling serious in general. What does a bigger body represent and that’s like half of the whole damn country. Just certain things people would say that could try to create a box for you. So they can feel comfortable with the way you are.
Q: How do you remain confident in your own skin?
A: That’s a journey in of itself. Just making sure I check in with myself. Making sure I am comfortable. I started working out and started to lose weight. People were like oh you’re losing weight but you’re a plus size model. I’ll never be a size two. It’s more so about focusing on me and who I want to be a representation of which is someone who is confident and takes care of herself. I have friends and family who I check in with as well. As far as keeping the confidence, I just tell myself that I am enough. That I don’t have to be any other version of myself for other people to feel comfortable. I am enough as I am because a lot of people do not get that.
Q: How do you feel when other girls comment and say that you inspired them to become a model?
A: People tell me that they appreciate the way I care myself and I am thankful. I was reading an interview about Michelle Obama, “When you put yourself out there whether you want it or
not you will become this role model or perk that people will look up to.” I appreciate people who are watching and listening, it’s amazing.
Q: What advice would you give girls who want to get into the modeling industry as a plus-size model?
A: First, know what you are willing or not willing to do to be in this game. People will ask you to do certain things. If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for anything. Figure that out where you stand with a lot of things and yourself. I’ve learned that it doesn’t cost to be a model. People trying to charge you to do anything. That’s not necessary. Maybe just getting your first set of photos or headshots. Once you really get into it and people start messing with you. You don’t have to pay to walk in shows or pay to get your pictures taken. There are some ups and downs but just stick it out!
Q: What are your thoughts on the situation that surrounded Victoria Secret not catering to plus size and/or transgender women?
A: Honestly I think that brands should be creative enough to cater different body types. I don’t think people should put everything on Victoria Secret and say oh they didn’t include anyone and they didn’t do this way. If anything it should have sparked the opportunity for Lane Bryant to have their own show televised every year or saying it should be this other brand because Victoria Secret is like a leader in the industry. A little diversity would be great and helpful. I don’t think VS will make bigger sizes and I don’t think they need to. At the same time, there is a brand, Lane Bryant, because they have their own lingerie brand. Because the two companies are related, they should have included Lane Bryant and have both brands walk in the runway. As far as transgender women, they absolutely should have been in the show. There are some beautiful transgender women that I have seen, who would rock that runway and really did something. It’s like we have seen the skinny girls with the wings, but what’s next?
Q: When did you decide that you wanted to be apart of the media industry?
A: That was a minute ago (Laughs) well I used to have a job at the movie theater and I used to make the announcements. One of my coworkers said that I should be on the radio. So I went to school for broadcasting then I got an internship then a job. After that, I just fell in love with it. Sometimes you help people with their problems and I love music. You’ll get like the latest music before anyone and I was excited about that.
Q: If there are any, who was or were your mentors during your journey?
A: Her name was Egypt and she was dope. She was a lady from New York like Angie Martinez and Wendy Williams. Those were the people I looked up to and I was like wow I want to do that.
Q: As a woman in the media industry was it harder for you to build a resume verse a man in the industry?
A: I wouldn’t say it was harder. It was different actually. Radio is very male-dominated and it’s not that many female programmers or music directors. When you’re listening to radio your listening for a males perspective. I know women who program radio and when they do it the radio sounds different. I would say it was harder it was just different. It’s empowering!
Q: What advice could you give an aspiring women in media?
A: Again it’s one of those things where you need to know yourself. It’s a male-dominated field and sometimes dudes will test you. They will try to come at your crazy. Guys will rock with you harder than you think. Because they know you’re not that one and they can depend on you to do great work. Set goals and look 3-5 years ahead and just lay that foundation now for you. You just have to stick with it.
Q: What quote or quotes do you live by?
A: First one is “I am enough!” The second one is “When you let your light shine you unconsciously give people permission to do the same!”
By: Druine Santana