Is there a surer sign of having arrived than a FuckYeah Tumblr dedicated to you? Maybe, but Naomi Shimada's very loyal online and offline fan club (of which we are keen members) is testament of her absolutely infectious personality and beauty. Human beings do not come cuter than this; if Hello Kitty had a cooler, sexier, better dressed older sister, she'd probably beg it with Naomi.
The Tokyo-born, Spanish-reared NYC resident, Londoner, who is currentyl travelling around Tokyo is one of our favourite models; she's also a TV host and full-time 'positive body image crusader'. Signed to a model agency at just thirteen she worked steadily until seventeen before being weighed and measured at her London agency at a time when her adolescent body was still 'tiny' by industry standards and was asked to lose weight . She decided she was done with it, threw the towel in and worked in music for a bit before she began modelling again at a size she was more comfortable at- and like all women her body kept changing. After a year of trying every diet, hypnotherapy and training a woman could be sold, she felt that she was no longer willing to sacrifice any joy from her life. Having been 'all sizes' Naomi was determined to happily established herself as a plus-size goddess. We wish we didn't have to use 'plus-size' as a term, so we won't. Her mission to spread a more realistic and attainable body standard remains her priority: 'There isn’t just one measure of beauty out there in REAL life so why can’t fashion and society be more open? It’s our responsibility to not just complain about it but let’s be out there doing something about it. Just being out there dressing cute and being real is a step. Plus models have always been quite mumsy-commerical-classic but that’s starting to shift finally…'
Naomi's love of all things food and entertainment is echoed in her work as a multi-media journalist; her work as a presenter for the Vice series Munchies is well worth a watch (especially her trip to NYC's Koreatown with Pablo, 'King of Korea Town') and her style guides for InStyle, bottomless pits of sartorial inspiration (down print clogs and raggedy denim bucket hats galore). We have to mention Naomi's one off video for StyleLikeU's Youtube series where women chat about their lives and undress themselves on camera with the aim of proving that style is more than clothes-deep, that went viral. It's unmissable and should be on the curriculum for any woman that's struggled with body self-esteem.
What's next? Travelling is her passion and she's now making a travel TV series and establishing her own women's travel network site 'Sister!'. Dumfounded as to why the small world of travel writing and documentation has been left to the boys, and fed up with rhetoric around travel for women centring on securing 'that' beach body in two weeks, Naomi aims to combine her favourite things: meeting new people, eating, sunshine and water while offering up a new dialogue around female autonomy. If variety is the spice of life, then Naomi is surely the spiciest of all. Team Shimada!