Tell us about yourself!
Hello! I’m Nalisa Alia, close friends and family call me Alia for short. Was born in KL, raised in Teluk Intan until I was 7, moved back to KL, and never left. Majored in Publishing for my degree though my current job has nothing to do with one (I’m in digital marketing now) I love music, beauty and anything cultural. Pretty much an overall chill person with a loud mouth filled of opinions for an introvert. Prefer staying in watching documentaries on an average night. Loves discovering and learning new things.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing today? (influencer, body positivity ambassador) Was it by chance or was it something of a goal for you?
It just happened. I guess I got tired of not being represented in the mainstream media and turned to Instagram for representation. That’s how I discovered all these plus size beauties overseas. Slowly, I decided to showcase my self love and it feels liberating. I never knew I had that much confidence. It’s also another mechanism for me to cope with my mental health.
What was your journey like from the beginning? We’ve read that you had to struggle with eating disorders earlier on.
My eating disorder days were tiring. To constantly overthink of what people think of my body and be physically and mentally exhausted all the time… it wasn’t worth it. It took me almost 10 years for me to gain this self love.
How did you eventually make you love yourself? When did you start appreciating how you look?
By faking my confidence. I think I realized that I actually love myself was 3 years ago. I decided to just not give a fuck and live life. There’s no point of me hiding my body under baggy clothes anymore, I just wanted to wear whatever I want to wear and flex it.
What was the exact moment of epiphany when you decided that you’re going to see yourself in a different light?
I don’t think I had an exact moment. It just slowly transitions. It isn’t an overnight work and I do have my off days where I feel insecure. I’m not perfect.
Now you’re an influencer/model but there are still some people who stick to that ‘nothing-feels-as-good-as-skinny-does’ notion, so how do you deal with being the odd one out?
I don’t deal with it because I don’t really care about it. If they think that being skinny makes them feel good, go ahead and be skinny but just don’t hurt yourself while doing it.
International media is slowly representing chubby girls and girls with a little bit of meat and they all look bomb. So I’m good.
In society these days, especially in the age of Instagram coupled with the fact that there is a constant pressure to look good, how do you remain confident?
I don’t look good all the time and I know that. I have my off days where I look like a bum and feel like shit but I’m not gonna post that on Instagram.
What do you tell people who are struggling with coming to grips with their own sizes and self-worth?
Surround yourself with people that’ll build you up instead of bringing you down. Stop over analyzing that people might stare because they probably aren’t.
This year, the International Women’s Day hashtag is #PressForProgress. How do you do that in your daily life?
I’m very active on Twitter so I think my biggest contribution for progress is to spread self love, body positivity and gender equality on my social media.
Do you have any regrets so far?
Yeah. One of the regrets to not love myself soon enough.
How would you like to be remembered most?
I’d like to be remembered most as a person that helps young people especially girls realize their true self worth and potential.
Last but not least … complete this sentence: “Love yourself, because …”
Nobody is going to love you more than yourself. At the end of the day, you only have yourself.