See What We See: Ady Del Valle

See What We See is a storytelling campaign focused on listening to queer voices that bring injustices to light in their own way. Whether it be via activism, writing, self-care, or simply by existence, the humans involved are using their life as a catapult for their community--however that may be defined--to ascend.

If you google
Ady Del Valle, you’ll see that he’s often reduced to a number. Early articles are often laced with a mocking tone, one that gawks at his size. Although recent articles have moved towards covering his work as an activist and a creative, any person that chooses to look at Ady’s work solely through the lens of plus size modeling is missing out. Ady is a model, artist, speaker, advocate, collaborator, co-author, and, most importantly, human.

Your photos often have an elegant, upscale vibe, even if you’re dressed in casual clothes. How do you personally combine glamour and informality?

I think it’s an aesthetic I try to live by especially as not only a fat person but as a model. I love showing that we can dress like what we are and still look put together regardless of our size. I’m huge on casual wear and comfort so I love combining both with touches of depending how I  feel that day--could be more masculine, or more femme, or a bit of both. Fashion or style shouldn’t give us limits.

What project/campaign made you feel the most fulfilled?

The project that has made me feel the most fulfilled has to be the one I just wrapped up in the west coast. It had to be my biggest project to date. I’ve done so many that are also fulfilling but this one really was focused on what I do, my journey, but also was able to not only speak but show what Ady does and who Ady is through art and representation as a fat queer model and what I do best, which is modeling.  I cannot wait for this to be released early 2021. It was so purposeful and hopefully inspiring.

If you could answer one question and then never have to answer it again, what would that question be?

What are you?  People--even after me explaining in plain English--people still have the urge to ask what am I? I’m a person, a human. People are so fixated on the way my body looks or is shaped and it’s like a mind bender for them, like they’ve never seen a fat person before that happens to have extra curves. I stopped answering that recently, people can stay confused if they want. My pronouns are already in my bio.

Respect me and respect who I am, it’s that simple.

What stories are you telling currently, especially with The Latinx Creative Instagram account? What do you hope to tell in the future?

I’ve been loving to tell individual stories, even if there’s small outlooks on people and what they do and who they are in the Latinx community. I feel it’s so important to share my platform and create space for other voices, especially in marginalized communities. Not only Latinx, but other POC and my black brothers and sisters, something I will be incorporating more in the future. 

I really hope this platform unites us all and that we are able to share our stories, creativity and who we are with each other and lift them up. I’m sure the Latinx platform is going to take off little by little. People are loving it.

How has your work evolved over time? Do you see it being different in the future?

My work and what I do is always evolving with each opportunity I do and I love that. I’m learning so much about my craft on sets, especially now more than ever the more I do. I’ve been tested physically and mentally and I feel like it just helps level up for the next opportunity and to be able to perform my craft even better. I love showing up on set and the shock of people after I zone in and start modeling, like almost a different person. I think people sometimes get surprised that someone that looks like me is capable of performing and delivering.

The only difference I hope to see in the future is more diversity on sets in fashion, not to be the only one my size doing these things.

What aspects of your outer self contribute to your overall narrative?

I live by just existing as I am, show up in spaces we don’t see people that look like me in, and I show out and take my space. Also living unapologetically and not only proving but showing the world that you matter and are worthy as we all are.

What aspects of your inner self contribute to your overall narrative?

I stay true to myself, stay real and kind. I feel like who we are and how we express ourselves plays a huge part in what we attract into our lives. I think me practicing these things has gotten me far but it’s also just who I am. Having inner love, compassion, passion and drive for the right things will get us far.

What gives you hope?

What gives me hope is people, people in the communities I represent giving us space, opportunity and platform to be a voice, representation in the work we do, and wanting to change the narrative in all industries. I love seeing us really fight and make things happen that people say isn’t possible and we make it happen ourselves and for each other.
You can find Ady's work on Instagram.

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