We are big supporters of this project. Not only because of the beautiful team behind- our amazing contributor Jennifer Barreto-Leyva- but also because of the message of body positivity, self-love, and respect. They have done even a video with a teaser in exclusivity for Dubai Fashion News. So, you are the first ones to know!
In case you didn’t know, Jennifer is the 1st Latina plus-size model that won Miss Universe + Size. She is coming from Venezuela and her story is really moving. In countries where beauty pageants only fit one kind of beauty, she rebelled and wanted to break those beauty standards that leave most of the females out feeling ugly, inadequate, or “not enough”. We are all beautiful, ladies! Never forget that!
Curious about what is Venus about? Keep on reading.
THE INTERVIEW: JENNIFER BARRETO- LEYVA
What is Venus and how this project started?
Well, Venus is the first fashion documentary about a plus-size model worldwide. The bright mind behind this is my good friend Yomaira Molina (the executive producer) with her husband Emil Zavala who is the Director of the movie. They are like family to me. Three years ago she told me that my life should be in a movie. I couldn’t see why, with all honesty. Yomaira had it very clear from day one. There is not one day I´m not grateful to have her in my life. You can see now why.
I was in a big denial, but she pictures me the situation with a different perspective. I had to see me with her eyes to understand why it was necessary to do this documentary. Three years later and after a long race of obstacles, here we are.
Did you ever imagine that your life would be in a documentary?
Not in a million years. I promise you. Not even if Nostradamus himself were brought to life to tell me this. After three years of pre-production, and the movie being filmed, I still have a hard time believing that I am behind Venus.
CREATIVITY WITH PURPOSE
We know you are a producer yourself, a very creative and proactive woman. Did you have something like this in mind to be produced?
I always have a huge smile on my face when I share this little story. When I was 12 years old, I started to create this in my mind. I was very tired to not have role models, icons to follow and let alone the zero representation as a plus-size Latina young lady back in the day. I wanted to produce a movie about a successful, bold, and beautiful plus size woman and how she conquered the world (in her heels). Turns out that woman that I had in mind was me and I was projecting my life as an adult. An amazing exercise that I recommend, I use it often to create and accomplish all the goals in my life. Visualization.
What was the hardest thing for you during the taping of this documentary?
The entire documentary (Just kidding!). Those who know me are still in shock. They are wondering what exactly Yomaira Molina said or did to me to convince me to do this documentary. I am very, and I mean very protective of my privacy. I never share anything personal on social media due to this. So how come now I am on a documentary telling my life to the world?
I still remember the first taping day. I started to feel very sick once I got home. One of my best friends is a Psychologist and she was expecting this to happen. Every time we taped, I became sick. It is the first time I´m sharing this. The process is very intense. That is the reason why I am very much grateful to have such an amazing team around.
TELL US MORE ABOUT VENUS
Should we expect tears and drama from Venus the story?
Tears, yes. A few now and then. Drama, no. I was extremely careful with the information I shared and the way I shared it. Why? Very simple: I should be the role model and icon I didn’t have when I was younger. Never count on me to play the victim role. That is not healthy, and nothing good comes out of that. How can I be someone honorable and a role model to anyone teaching that you should be a victim and everyone should feel sorry for you in order for you to conquer the world? That is not responsible; It would show zero values and integrity from me. I had hard times in life, way too many, but that is not what I want people to learn and take from me. Life is a never-ending journey of obstacles, and we need to be ready and deal with it gracefully.
Who was in charge of your look?
Me all the time. I needed to be in charge of this. I was lucky enough to count with Mexican Designer Diana Rodríguez; Igigi a fashion brand that has been with me during my career, they were there with me one more time. Eloquii a fashion brand I learn from recently was there too. I took care of every detail.
How did you want to be remembered, Jen?
As the woman that change and challenged worldwide beauty standards for good. The woman that only wanted a better, more inclusive place to live.
WORDS OF WISDOM
If you could talk the 6 years old little Jennifer, what would you tell her?
You will make waves, big ones in the world. Don´t pay attention to broken people that only know how to hurt more people. Party more and be patient, prince charming hasn’t arrived yet to your life by the time a movie with your name and story will be out on the big screen, relax. You are a beautiful little lady. Never forget that.
What would be the moral of the story in Venus?
There are several actually. You are gorgeous at any size; you define your beauty, no one can stop you if you want to conquer the world, and last but not least: haters always hate and accomplish nothing, reason enough to never listen to them.
READY TO GO!
When it will be the worldwide premiere?
It was scheduled for August 2020. But the coronavirus crisis taking the world by storm, forced us to check on new dates to re-schedule all once we have some stability worldwide.
We are very proud of Jennifer and how she has opened up to help other people. I am sure it was not easy. We are looking forward to seeing the movie premiere! In the meantime, we have this teaser done in exclusivity for us!
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