Voices: Plus-Size Model Kelsey Olson Opens Up About Life Off-Camera And The Power Of Laughter

kelsey olson
PHOTO: JOY FOR VOCALLY

Voices is a series of interviews with influencers, social media personalities, and overall badass women who are speaking out about self-love. Hand-selected by self-love mentor and wellness advocate Sarah Sapora, the series' goal is to cultivate an honest conversation about love and acceptance and highlight the perspectives of women living boldly. Inspired by her own journey to creating a happier and healthier life from the inside out, Sarah uses her platform as a social influencer to create a community for women, both on- and offline, based around a single powerful idea: “I stand, you stand… and together, we rise the fuck up.”

The Voice of... Kelsey Olson. 

News flash: The woman pictured on that package of underwear you just bought at a store that rhymes with “Schmarget” is a real person. And yet there she is, posing confidently on some underwear packaging, or dancing through a commercial, or flaunting her figure on dozens of websites that sell plus-size clothing. 

Kelsey Olson is a model. Not an “Instagram model,” but an actual, paid, working model. Companies hire her to be a blank canvas for their brand because of her innate ability to connect with shoppers. She is fierce-looking, knows how to hit poses like the best of 'em, and her work ethic is the stuff most art directors dream of. But once the fancy makeup comes off? She’s just a casual gal who loves to laugh.

Read on to see what happened when I sat down for a quick chat with Kelsey Olson — plus-size model, badass, all-around cool chick, and totally normal human being who just happens to be beautiful for a living. 

What is your name?

My name is Kelsey Olson, and I prefer to go by Kelsey Olson. You know, so I don't forget. 

Where do you call home?

Los Angeles, California, is where I call home. 

Who is Kelsey?

Kelsey is a friend, someone that you can go to and talk to — or listen to, because I can talk quite a bit. I’m just an easygoing person with no specific agenda. 

Why do you share your life online?

I think sharing your life online is a good way to connect with people that are going through something you’ve gone through and be able to lend a helping hand. Social media is a place to connect and build a little community. 

What does Kelsey believe in?

I believe in the honesty within a person. I believe that, for the most part, we are all inherently good people, although sometimes we can get swayed. I believe in people being genuine; and I think if you are a genuine person, you will find success.

When you were little, what did you want to be “when you grew up"?

I have always known that I wanted a family ... but not necessarily [in] the way our society describes as normal. You could have a boyfriend or a partner and a whole bunch of little dogs and that could be an amazing family! There’s no “normal” and I like that. 

What’s your favorite curse word?

Probably the F-word, fuck. Definitely.

What turns you on the most in life?

Making people laugh or laughing. It physically turns you on, literally. It ignites muscles. People buy pills and do things that try to replicate the feeling of laughter. … Happiness turns me on. Laughing and happiness. 

What turns you off?

When people think that they are better than anyone else. 

What is one misconception you think people have about you?

In the pictures you see of me online, there are a lot of people putting in a lot of work to make me look that way. In real life, I’m very relaxed — I guess you could say I'm a tomboy. I’m super chill, and I think people are often taken aback by that. They don’t think I act like what a model is supposed to act like. 

Do you believe in the idea of second chances?

Yeah. I think we evolve as people all the time. ... For example, I'm not who I was six months ago. 

Singing in the shower or singing in the car?

Car, for sure. 

Pudding or pie?

What is bread pudding? That's like a pie and a pudding, but it has bread in it. It's like, thick. Okay, whatever you want to call bread pudding. That. 100%.

Do you believe that people can have a “life calling"? If so, what is yours and are you following it?

Yes, I believe people can have life callings. Do I know what mine is? Not quite, but I’m working on it!  

Imagine every person in the world would stop what they were doing and listen to you talk for one minute. What would you say?

It’s been said by, like, everyone, but all you need is love. We get so lost and misguided on what the important things are in life and I truly think that love can conquer anything. Love and support your brothers and sisters — take care of each other. Respect yourself and your community and your neighbor and the planet that you are walking on. It can all go away. 

If you could have a conversation with yourself 10 years ago, what would you talk about?

I would tell myself ... that you are doing the best you can and you should listen to what you feel. Don’t ignore the feelings that you have or suppress them. If you're sad and some person made you feel that way, you're allowed to feel that. If you had a romantic relationship with someone and they aren’t fulfilling you in the way you feel like you should be fulfilled, then search for that. Don't sacrifice your emotions. ... And believe in yourself more, because you are amazing. 

I believe people can have life callings. Do I know what mine is? Not quite, but I’m working on it!  

Tell us about a time you fucked something up but learned a lesson in the process.

I’m not going to go into details, but knowing yourself before you start making really large decisions is something you have to learn. ... You learn and you keep going. Take from your experience and put the knowledge forward. It’s like that quote where a crazy person does things again and again even when they know they are wrong — use your intuition on the big decisions.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Brad Pitt, always and forever. Long hair. A River Runs Through It. Interview With a Vampire.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with any person, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?

My grandma Irma, who basically raised me. At the end of her life, I didn’t really get to be around her; I was living out of state. And then my dad's father — I never met him. I would want to see how and why my parents turned into the people that they are now. People shape you.

What lineup in a game of “Fuck, Marry, Kill” would you have the hardest time playing?

I want to say something deep like, you know, social leaders or something, but let's go with something simple like celebrities. Probably like Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and like Meryl Streep or something.

Finish this statement: I am…

I am so much stronger than I know. 

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SARAH SAPORA

Sarah Sapora is a marketing expert specializing in lifestyle brands for women. From plus size apparel to the tantalizing world of the male revue- she’s worked marketing for both Chippendales and The Men of the Strip as seen on the E! Channel—Sarah loves nothing more than to use her creative, professional juices to support and empower women. With her blog and small sliver of Social Media World, Sarah uses the gateway of fashion to inspire women of ALL shapes, sizes and ages to be more forgiving of themselves and to live confidently. Her plus size lifestyle blog for women,SarahPlusLife.com is a candid, intimate, and often hilarious, study on the living plus size, fashion and dating.  A native New Yorker, Sarah lives in the San Francisco area with her Shih Tzu wingman, Winston. She enjoys cooking, the arts and singing in the car. 

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