Freedom of Self-Expression

with Monique Kabel

MUA Taylor Jazz / @taylor_jazz

We’re happy to have you on the cover of Playboy! Can you give us a bit of a background on your career as a model and where it all started? I actually started modeling when I was just a baby, then as I grew up I was told to put my focus on academics, sports, music, art. Which left little room for modeling. I wasn’t even in front of a professional camera again until I was in my 20s and I became heavily involved in the fitness industry. Ever since then though, I’ve been in all sorts of fitness magazines, promos, fitness shows, etc. I absolutely love it! 

Having a full schedule must make it difficult for you to get much alone time, talk to us about the top 3 must-dos to ensure you fit in some well-deserved down time.  Surprisingly, I spend a lot of time alone. But I definitely have daily practices of my own self-care routine. 

what does it mean for you to be seen as a strong, intelligent, ambitious woman? I’m so grateful to be associated with such high-calibre words to describe me. It honestly means the world to me. 

What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about what you do? That showing off a woman’s body is still taboo, while men have the privilege of it being acceptable. This comes from a place of pride, freedom and strength, not shame. 

What does freedom of self-expression mean to you? This is such a great question! Freedom of self-expression to me, means that everyone and anyone has the right to express themselves as they wish. I’d love to say without judgment as well, but we all know that the world we live in, isn’t quite there yet. It took me so long to become comfortable in my own body to even be able to model in lingerie, and that’s really actually sad to say. My fear was being judged by my peers, family and of course clients. Luckily, I was able to finally switch my perspective from “what will they think”, to “what do I feel” by repressing myself creatively. And that answer pushed me to stop viewing it as taboo and started embracing it as empowering myself, and hopefully other women too. 

We absolutely love your Instagram, your content is very dynamic, inspirational, and downright sexy, could you perhaps tell us what your personal experience as an influencer has been like? Thank you!! It’s been a challenge to wrap everything that I do into one page filled with photos & videos. Haha. I love curating a beautiful social feed, and social media marketing was something I had to learn quickly when I moved my business online. Being an influencer has been a lot of fun, but if I’m being honest, I prefer to promote my own businesses, my friends, and the ones that really align with me. 

3 things that you can’t go a day without?  I can’t go a day without my dog, a cozy bed, and a big bear hug right before bed. 

What about those crazy DMs you must receive! Care to share a few funny stories regarding those? My DMs, haha. I mean sure there are some stories I could tell. But my dating life is far more entertaining; one time I was on a date and the guy just started slamming drinks. The more he drank, the more he talked… about his ex-girlfriend. I ended up spending 3 hours listening to this guy vent about his ex, then when it was time to leave, he asked me to come over. I said no thanks, dinner only covered the last 3 hours of therapy. This was my first & only dating app date. 

Now we’re sure you experience a lot of male attention on and offline, any advice you would like to give to men out there who are hoping to catch your eye the right way? First of all, it’s super important to support my hopes & dreams! Secondly, I love being able to communicate with someone on a deeper level, everything is about finding that “connection”. 

What is the absolute worst thing a man can do to completely put you off? When a man isn’t kind, caring and supportive of my hopes & dreams. And when he doesn’t want to get to know me.  

That said, what advice would you have to give to all women out there when it comes to love and relationships? For women, I’d say it’s vital to have strong communication and respect from your partner. You have to be able to speak your mind without any fear of judgment. For men, show up as a man who can support your partner’s hopes and dreams, while still being able to chase your own. 

Thank you so much for sitting down with us and letting us get to know you! Any last words for our readers out there? Thank you! It’s been a lifelong dream to be in Playboy, and I’m so grateful. I’d love to give a special shout-out to the best photographer for shooting these photos, and Taylor Jazz for being the ultimate one-woman glam squad. For those reading, women- check out my women’s empowerment business: We run 12-week challenges twice a year with grand prizes (exotic getaways with photoshoots). For the guys reading – check out my Playboy centerfold to chat with me or just check out more of my content: moniquekabel.