By Oluwatoyin Adeleye
Ghanaian TV host and actress, Joselyn Dumas is the cover star of SCHICK Magazine’s sophomore edition, The lifestyle Issue. She discusses her brand of feminism and how she aims to help women love their bodies in the cover story of the quarterly publication for smart, stylish and successful African women.
“I like to say that women are already empowered! We do not need to launch a campaign for that. What we need to do is teach each other to love ourselves more, and to work together as a unit. Our empowerment doesn’t need approval, especially not from a man. I loved myself enough to realise that even though I shouldn’t be judged by my weight, obesity wasn’t allowing me to perform optimally. That’s the love I want other women to discover,” she told the magazine.
Joselyn opens up on her background, self-love, female empowerment and her transformational fitness journey. The rare in-depth interview also gives insight into her significant role in the forward motion of female emancipation with her new initiative, 10,000 Steps.
See excerpts below:
How important is the ethos of self-love and female empowerment to your movement? Self-love is the key component of this campaign. Women need to appreciate and love themselves more. A woman that loves herself knows that, regardless of her skin colour, weight or height, she is beautiful with greatness dwelling from within. A woman that loves herself will live passionately and refuse to be held back by things that she can control. I need to reiterate that women are already empowered; we do not need to launch a campaign for that. What we need to do is teach ourselves to love ourselves more, and to work together as a unit. Our empowerment doesn’t need approval, and especially not from a man. I loved myself enough to realise that even though I’m not meant to be judged by my weight, obesity wasn’t allowing me to perform optimally; I was dying slowly. This realisation and the love I found for myself is what I want other women to discover in themselves.
At what point did you realise that you had the power to effect change?
Everyone has the power to effect change; it’s the magnitude of power that differs. At a certain point in my career, I started receiving emails from the public telling me how the issues I was talking about on my show has helped them deal a difficult situation. When the media started quoting things I said or did, that was then I realised people were watching and that I could influence people’s thoughts and perceptions positively. I also had to be more careful of my surroundings. I do not take this position for granted.
What is the ultimate goal of 10,000 Steps and how do you aim to achieve it?
60% of the women around the world struggle with their body image. Most women are preoccupied with either being too big or too thin. The goal of the 10,000 Steps initiative is to help as many women as possible realise that everyone is beautiful in their vessel, and the most important thing is to stay healthy and fit.
Did you face any challenges being overweight?
I struggled with my confidence and body image, as people would stare which affected my self-esteem for a moment. I would see my love handles hanging out of my favourite pair of jeans, and I didn’t like it. I had to take ten selfies for that one perfect shot because my double chin was being a nuisance, I couldn’t control my racing heart beat and short breaths after taking only a few steps. Those for me, are some of the challenges I faced that made me re-evaluate my life choices.
What was your main reason for losing weight and what changed afterwards?
My health! Your life is meant to be lived, loved and enjoyed, and we most certainly owe that to ourselves. I wanted to enjoy my life and enjoy it being healthy. I felt healthier after losing weight, and I loved it. I was in tune with my body and learnt to be disciplined. My lifestyle and eating habits changed.
Check out her photos in the slides above. Also check out the full story on SCHICK Magazine, which is available for purchase at www.iamschick.com/buy