We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Sheila Lopez. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Sheila below.
Hi Sheila, thanks for joining us today. Do you wish you had waited to pursue your creative career or do you wish you had started sooner?
I started modeling in 2014 and I was 27 at the time. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I gained confidence to be able to do something like modeling. I was always the person that tried their best to avoid taking pictures and dressed in overly baggy clothing as a way to hide. I was apologizing for my size and never felt beautiful enough to take pictures. I started modeling after a friend introduced me to a local photographer in Austin, TX. They said I was photogenic and could definitely see me modeling and made the recommendation that I should try it. I wish I had listened to my friends and taken the leap to start modeling earlier. It’s never too late to do something you love, but I wish I had started earlier. Modeling has brought me many opportunities to work with plus-size retail brands like Ashley Stewart and Dia & Co as well as Latinx-owned brands. I’ve made a lot of connections and gained opportunities I never dreamed I would have. Imagine what other experiences I missed out on because of my lack of self-confidence? I’m just happy I am in a better place right now and have built a portfolio to showcase.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
Shortly after I started modeling in 2014, I created my blog La Divina Latina. La Divina Latina is a digital space I created for body positivity for women of all sizes to feel empowered and stylish. I started my blog as a way to tell my story. I didn’t anticipate that it would lead to the amazing connections I’ve made with people online and the opportunities to work with brands. I love working with fashion and beauty brands whose values and mission match my own. It’s important to me to build a genuine and lasting relationship with the brands I work with, especially small business owners. My proudest accomplishments have been working with Latina small business owners because of the support we’ve given each other and uplifted each other.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I get asked often how to build an online presence and large following on social media. The most important thing to keep in mind as a content creator is to be true to yourself. People will connect with others who they feel are authentic and who they can relate to. It’s also important to build a content schedule. Followers on social media will come to expect content published consistently. Think about the content you like to create and focus on delivering this to the people who follow you. If you love talking about fashion, beauty products, or food and travel, then post this type of content to your social pages and/or blog regularly. You should create content that you love and are passionate about. I am a fashionista, model, and make-up enthusiast, so naturally this is the type of content I post about.
Is there a mission driving your creative journey?
My goal is to continue to be a representation of the beauty and diversity in Latinas, so this is what drives me to be that representation in entertainment and media. I didn’t have someone like me that I saw on TV shows, movies, or magazines growing up, so I want to be that representation for someone. I want to let young Latinas know through my example that you can do what you love despite what society says you can’t do. As a plus-size Latina, I am not the image that most people have in mind as a model, and I want to change that. Beauty comes in many beautiful forms and shades and it’s important to see yourself represented.