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Keeping it real

62 year old model, Yazemeenah Rossi proves that age is just a number. In an interview with Ankita Jain she reveals the secret to her glow and more…On the covers of several magazines across the world, Yazemeenah Rossi is a 62 year old grandmother, photographer and a model. She gained success late at the age of 45 but that does not stop her from feeling more beautiful with each passing year. This cool grandmother of two gives a tough challenge to any 20-something in terms of fitness and panache. She makes you believe that age is just a number.

As a model and a photographer, Yazemeenah is renowned for her all-white hair and natural beauty. Her immense popularity is evident on Instagram where she has around 185k followers and a huge number of women seeking advice on how to stay well as we age.

An avocado a day, rubbing olive oil daily into my skin and treating myself with once a week scrub is all I do to keep myself young.

Unstoppable, she now has plans to get into the cashmere manufacturing business, and which is the main purpose of her visit to Nepal recently. “I am doing the cashmere shawl business with my friend. The shawls will be manufactured here and distributed across the world. This way we are also providing jobs to the locals and contributing to their earnings,” she shares.

Yazemeenah started modelling at an age when most models step down and have already left an imprint. “I was 28-years-old when I did my first modelling assignment. My friend, who worked in fashion retail, asked me to walk-in as a last minute model. I was immensely excited as this was the first time I was working out of Corsica. This was my first-hand experience and it was good except the fact that the people I was working with wanted to screw me. Nevertheless I stood for my principles and this is where I am,” she recalls.

Unlike other celebrities, Rossi has never promoted any product on her social media account. “I do not want to misguide my followers. I like to keep things real. In fact, many a time, I have been asked to dye my hair and every time I refuse. Though I have lost a lot of money this way but I am happy I have been able to stick by my rules,” she shrugs. She moved to New York later in life for opportunities and then to California. She knew California wouldn’t offer much but the place resonated with her lifestyle. Her goal is to be the most beautiful version of herself. She has worked with brands like Marks & Spencer, JD Williams, Bloomingdales, Barneys, J Crew, Bobbi Brown among others.

Ask her from where the fitness obsession came and she has an entire story to tell. “Being physically active was just a way of life. I used to walk a lot back then as we didn’t have the luxury of cars or cabs. Technology today has made life sedentary,” she muses. Yazemeenah started yoga even before she knew it was called ‘yoga’. “I started the breathing techniques and other yoga postures when I was pregnant with my first child at 17. I wanted to connect with my baby and inner soul. Also I belonged to a conservative family and had to hide my pregnancy for the first five months. Since I was carrying a baby outside of marriage, I was terrified that my father would force me to abort,” she explains. Later, she attended professional yoga classes and today she is a regular practitioner for the past 30 years.

Yazemeenah Rossi is what we all want to be when we age. She eats healthy, exercises daily, works on keeping a positive frame of mind and doesn’t allow technology to rule her life. “An avocado a day, rubbing olive oil daily into my skin and treating myself with once a week scrub is all I do to keep myself young. Also, I am not a technology freak person. I don’t even have a television at my place. All I am passionate about is my camera, its functionality and connecting people via social media,” she reveals.

Born and brought up in Corsica, Yazemeenah loves nature. She drew her photography inspiration from water. “My first camera was gifted to me at the age of 11 and since then I have been capturing moments,” she remembers.

Yazemeenah stitches her own clothes, does all her household chores and finds time for other creative expressions. “I feel there is so much more to achieve in life. Everyone is unique and one should be able to explore their uniqueness. I never think about what people will think about me. I do what I want to. For instance, I even changed my name from Yasmina to Yazemeenah some years back because I found it to be right,” she shares.

Divorced twice, Rossi is single, happy and in the near future plans to gather all her life experiences and write a book. “I don’t believe in giving advise or suggestions. I want to share my life experiences through this book; one may call it an autobiography,” she concludes.